Know what to do each month.

Important Tasks to Remember

Summer

  • Monitor your Cal Grant status using WebGrants for Students.
  • Watch for college acceptance letters and financial aid offers.
  • Evaluate all financial aid offers carefully.
  • Let your college know the financial aid awards you're accepting and the ones you're declining.
  • Look for a summer job, or consider summer school or an internship.

September/October

  • Start working on college admission applications.
  • Sign up for a financial aid workshop at your school or in your area.
  • Research private grants and scholarships.
  • Be sure to submit the two forms required by the September 2 Cal Grant deadline: FAFSA and verified GPA.

November

  • Complete your college admission applications.
  • Get financial aid applications from colleges.
  • Talk to your school about submitting your Cal Grant GPA for you electronically, or get your GPA certified using the paper Cal Grant GPA Verification Form and then mail it to the California Student Aid Commission.
  • Use the FAFSA on the Web Worksheet to become familiar with the FAFSA process and paperwork.

December

  • Save your and your parents' year-end payroll stubs if they show your earnings for the entire year. You'll use them when filling out the FAFSA.

January

  • Submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Fill out and submit it online. It's easier and faster.
  • Attend a free California Cash for College workshop in your area and bring your parents.
  • Two forms are required by the March 2 Cal Grant deadline: FAFSA and verified GPA. Be sure your school submits your verified GPA.

FEBRUARY

  • Follow up with your high school to make sure your Cal Grant GPA was electronically submitted to the Commission, if that is your school’s procedure, or to get your GPA certified using the paper Cal Grant GPA Verification Form if your school doesn’t submit GPAs electronically.
  • Track your application online using WebGrants for Students.
  • Review your Student Aid Report and make corrections, if necessary. If you don’t receive your report within three weeks of submitting your FAFSA, call toll free 1-800-433-3243.
  • Be sure you or your parents complete your tax returns so you can update your Student Aid Report, if necessary.
  • Look into taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate exams for college credit held in the spring at participating high schools.

March 2

  • Today is the deadline for submitting the FAFSA and the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form to be considered for an entitlement Cal Grant.

Late March/Early April

  • Respond to any letters or requests you receive from the California Student Aid Commission or your college.

April

  • You should receive notification about your Cal Grant by April 30. If you don't hear from us, call toll free 1-888-CA-GRANT (1-888-224-7268). If you don't get a Cal Grant, don't panic; contact the college you want to attend and find out what other financial aid is available.

May

  • Many public universities have a May 1 deadline to let them know your college choice. Don't miss this important date either!

Download PDF Download a more detailed checklist to help you plan and pay for college (PDF).