What is a Cal Grant?
A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back. To qualify, you must meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Cal Grants can be used at any University of California, California State University or California Community College, as well as qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools in California.
There are three kinds of Cal Grants — A, B and C — but you don’t have to figure out which one to apply for. Your eligibility will be based on your FAFSA responses, your verified Cal Grant GPA, the type of California colleges you list on your FAFSA and whether you’re a recent high school graduate. To learn more about the qualifications, go to Calgrants.org.
Headed to a four-year college?
Cal Grant A
- will help pay for tuition and fees at four-year colleges
- award amounts vary by type of college — for 2016-2017, Cal Grants are up to $12,240 at a University of California campus, up to $5,472 at a California State University campus, and up to $9,084 at independent colleges
- has a GPA requirement. If you’re applying using your high school GPA, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA;
- requires that your course of study leads directly to an associate or bachelor’s degree, or qualifies you for transfer from a community college to a bachelor’s degree program
Cal Grant B
- provides a living allowance of up to $1,656, in addition to tuition and fee assistance after the first year, at a two- or four-year college
- pays most first-year students a living allowance only, which may be used to pay living expenses, books, supplies and transportation, as well as tuition and fees
- when renewed or awarded beyond your first year, you’ll receive the living allowance as well as a tuition and fee award (up to $12,240 at a UC campus, up to $5,472 at a CSU campus and up to $9,084 at independent colleges for 2016-2017)
- requires at least a 2.0 GPA
Interested in a technical, vocational or career education?
Cal Grant C
- assists with the costs of a technical or career education
- provides up to $547 for books, tools and equipment—and up to $2,462 more for tuition and fees if you’ll be attending a school other than a California Community College (community colleges don’t charge tuition and your fees will be waived as a Cal Grant recipient)
- is available for up to two years
If you qualify, you’ll receive an email or letter notification to complete the online Cal Grant C Supplement in Web Grants for Students by the deadline. Even though a GPA is not required to apply for a Cal Grant C, you’re still encouraged to submit yours because it can only help your chances of receiving an award.
ABOUT CAL GRANTS A, B & C
Cal Grant A
Cal Grant A assists with tuition and fees at public and independent colleges, and some occupational and career colleges. At the University of California and the California State University, the award covers up to full system-wide fees. Your coursework must be for at least two academic years.
There are two Cal Grant A awards: Entitlement and Competitive. There is also a Cal Grant A award for students transferring from a California Community College to a four-year college.
Cal Grant A Entitlement Award
- Students who meet all the Cal Grant eligibility requirements, have at least a 3.0 high school grade point average, and apply by March 2 either of the year they graduate from high school or the following year are guaranteed a Cal Grant A. Students awarded an Entitlement Cal Grant A must confirm their high school graduation at www.webgrants4students.org before funds can be disbursed.
- The Cal Grant A Entitlement award provides for tuition and fees at the California State University and the University of California, as well as tuition support at participating independent colleges and universities and career colleges.
Cal Grant A and B Competitive Awards
- Students who are not eligible for a Cal Grant A or B Entitlement award may compete for a Cal Grant A or B Competitive award.
- Cal Grant Competitive awards are the same as a Cal Grant Entitlement awards, except that they are not guaranteed.
- Students can submit high school, college, or reestablished GPAs (See GPA webpage for more information.)
- Each year, 22,500 Cal Grant Competitive awards are available. Of these, 11,250 are for students who do not qualify for a Cal Grant Entitlement award, but who otherwise meet the Cal Grant requirements and apply by March 2.
- The remaining 11,250 awards are set aside for eligible California Community College students who meet the September 2 deadline.
The California Student Aid Commission has created WebGrants 4 Students (WGS) for students. WGS will allow students to manage their Cal Grant account, by viewing updates, make school changes, make address changes, make corrections, and post leave of absence requests. The WGS account does not replace the FAFSA account. Each account must be monitored and managed independently