Cal Grant

Cal Grants are offered by the State of California to students attending eligible California institutions of higher education. The Cal Grant program is administered by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid as long as you complete your courses successfully.

Cal Grant A & B generally cover up to 4 years of full time attendance (typically 2 years of that at a community college). In order to graduate within 4 years a student must take at least 15 units per semester.

General Cal Grant Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a California Resident or AB 540 eligible
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Males must meet Selective Service requirements
  • Attend a Cal Grant eligible school
  • Not have earned a bachelor’s degree
  • Not be in grant repayment or in default on a student loan
  • Not be incarcerated
  • Enroll at least half-time to receive payment
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress to receive payment

How to apply

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (DAA) by March 2nd
  • Submit a high school GPA to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2nd. Foster Youth students have an extended deadline of September 2nd.
  • California Community College students can be considered for a competitive award if they submit their GPA by September 2nd

Once you submit your completed FAFSA/DAA and one of the following: high school GPA, College GPA, ACT, SAT, GED, TASC or HISET exam, you will be considered for the appropriate Cal Grant award based on GPA, financial need and college of attendance.

Cal grant entitlement award

Who is considered for a High School Entitlement award:

  • Current high school seniors and last year’s high school graduates
  • Current GED recipients
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
  • Students who complete a FAFSA or DAA

Cal grant competitive awards

Who is considered for a Competitive Award:

  • Students who are not awarded a Cal Grant Entitlement award
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
  • Students who complete a FAFSA or Dream Act Application

Competitive awards are limited to 41,000 awards each academic year. Students who are awarded a competitive award must claim their awards electronically using WebGrants for Students. Students are scored and selected for this award based on information from their CADA/FAFSA and their GPA. Scoring components include: GPA, parent education level, access equalizer, student or parent household status, family income and household size. 20,500 competitive awards are offered to students who meet the March 2nd filing deadline. 20,500 additional competitive awards are offered to students who are enrolled at a California Community College for the fall term and have a GPA reported by the September 2nd filing deadline.

California Community College students with 12 units or more may qualify for an augmented Cal Grant B Access award. The amount will vary depending upon the number of qualifying students. Check with your college's financial aid office to see if you qualify for the increased Access award.

Cal grant award types

Cal Grant A:

  • For low to middle-income students
  • 3.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for an academic program that is 2-4 years in length
  • Can only be used for tuition and fees
  • If awarded at a California Community College, it will be held in reserve up to two years until the student transfers to a 4-year school

Cal Grant B:

  • For low-income students
  • 2.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for an academic program that is at least 1 year in length
  • Includes an additional annual Access award amount (living expenses)

Cal Grant C:

  • For low to middle-income students
  • Must be used for an occupational or technical program that is at least 4 months in length
  • Covers up to 2 years of full time attendance
  • Cal Grant A and B eligibility is determined before Cal Grant C eligibility
  • Eligible students must complete the Cal Grant Supplement form if required by CSAC

Webgrants for students

Applicants and current Cal Grant awardees should check their Cal Grant status on the web using Webgrants.

Go to My Grant Info. Students will need to create an account. All students are encouraged to use the Webgrants for Students website to track their application status online. Students may use Webgrants to:

  • Check if your application data has been received by CSAC
  • Check your award status and view your payment history
  • Check your address on file and update it online
  • See how your Cal Grant might change if you attend a different school
  • Report a Leave of Absence if you were awarded but will not be attending

Additional Cal Grant Information:

CSAC Student Support Services
888.224.7268
studentsupport@csac.ca.gov
My grant info login