If you are a California graduating high school senior or recent graduate, or just got your GED, and meet academic, financial and eligibility requirements and submit two forms by the Cal Grant deadline then you may qualify for a Cal Grant for college or career or technical school.
What is the Cal Grant deadline?
You must apply by March 2 to maximize your opportunity to receive an award.
If you miss the March 2 Cal Grant deadline AND you plan to attend a community college in the fall, you have until September 2 to apply. However, the number of Cal Grant awards is limited.
To be eligible for a Cal Grant you must:
- Submit the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (beginning in 2013) and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen (your parents don’t need to be citizens or eligible noncitizens) or meet AB540 criteria (beginning in 2013)
- Be a California resident when you graduated from high school or meet AB540 criteria
- Have a Social Security number or meet AB540 criteria
- Attend a qualifying California college
- Not have a bachelor’s or professional degree (except for Cal Grant A and B extended awards for a teaching credential program)
- Have financial need based on your college costs
- Have family income and assets below the established ceilings
- Meet any minimum GPA requirements
- Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
- Be enrolled at least half time
- Have registered with U.S. Selective Service (most males)
- Not owe a refund on a state or federal grant, or be in default on a student loan
You can apply for a Cal Grant Entitlement Award in one of four ways:
Within one year after you graduate. So even if you have to go straight to work before going to college, you don't have to miss out on a Cal Grant.
As a community college transfer student, as long as you are under the age of 28.
As a high school senior.
Within one year of getting your GED.
Some students don't have a GPA, so certain test scores can be used instead. Please submit your test score along with the GPA Verification Form.
If you have a GED, submit your GED score directly to the California Student Aid Commission.
If you graduated from a school that doesn't provide grades, is not accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges or another regional accrediting agency, or doesn't have a course list approved by the University of California you must provide your ACT, SAT or GED score.
If you were home-schooled or attended a charter school you must submit your ACT, SAT or GED score.
If you graduated from high school more than five years ago you may provide your SAT or ACT score, or use a re-established GPA from your grades at a California Community College.