CAL GRANT A: Applications, Requirements, Eligibility, Amount, Comparisons

Cal-Grant-A

Apart from scholarships, another way to finance your studies without having to run into debts is by applying for financial aid- one of such is the Cal grant A.

Cal Grants A is one of the three kinds of Cal grants- money for college you don’t have to pay back. 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.

In this article, we’ll look at CAL Grant A in detail- how much it is worth, the application requirements, and how it differs from other Cal grants.

What is Cal Grant A?

Cal Grant A is an entitlement award that can be used for tuition and fees at public and private colleges. It covers system-wide fees ranging between $5,742 and $9,084.

To receive this grant, you need to meet certain criteria.

Cal Grant A Eligibility

Cal Grants A are typically only awarded to undergraduate students who have exceptional financial needs and have not earned a bachelor’s, college, or professional degree. However, in some cases, a student enrolled in a postgraduate teacher certification program may be eligible for a the Grant.

You are not eligible for a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state detention center involuntary civil law is subject to obligations after the termination of a prison sentence for a sexual offense, whether enforced or not.

Cal Grant A Requirements

To qualify for this grant, you must meet the following eligibility Requirements

  • GPA requirement: If you’re applying using your high school GPA, you must have at least a 3.0 GPA; if applying using your college GPA, you must have at least a 2.4 GPA.
  • Course Requirements: 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.
  • Nationality: Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria.

Other requirements include:

  • Submit the FAFSA or CADAA application and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline.
  • Be a California resident for 1 year.
  • Attend a qualifying California college.
  • Not have a bachelor’s or professional degree.

How to apply for Cal Grant A

Start your application by completing and submitting either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

If you’re a US Citizen, permanent resident, or other qualifying non-residents, you must submit a FAFSA by the March 2 Cal Grant Deadline to be eligible for the most opportunities. Students attending California Community Colleges can submit a FAFSA through September 2 of each year to be considered for a community college Competitive Cal grant award.

Follow the the guide below and apply:

  • Create a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID so they can log in and sign the completed application.
  • Undocumented students who meet AB 540 requirements will need to submit the CADAA by the March 2 Cal Grant Deadline to be eligible for the most opportunities. Students attending California Community Colleges can submit a CADAA through September 2 of each year.
  • Once you complete the CADAA they must respond to requests for additional information including but not limited to the AB 540 affidavit from the student’s school of attendance.
  • Esure a Grade Point Average (GPA) has been submitted to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)
  • Visit the Cal Grant Verification Form webpage and submit your GPA to CSAC.
  • Create a WG4S account to monitor and manage their state awarded financial aid. 
  • Once your FAFSA or CADAA application is processed, you will receive an email from CSAC letting them know it’s time to create their WebGrants 4 Students account.

Stay up-to-date on deadlines and requirements by reading all correspondence from CSAC, FAFSA, and your school of attendance.

Cal Grant A Amount- 2021-22 Award Amounts

At a CCC (CA Community College)- $0

Cal Grant A does not cover your tuition and fees while attending a community college, however, your award eligibility will be held in reserve for up to two years until you transfer to a four-year college.

At a CSU (California State University)- $5,742

  • This amount will be applied towards the system wide tuition and fee cost of the school.

At a UC (University of California)– $12,570

  • This amount will be applied toward the system wide tuition and fees of the school.

At a Private Non-Profit School– $9,084

  • This amount will be applied toward the tuition and fees of the school.

At a Private For-Profit School (WASC Accredited)– $8,056

  • This amount will be applied toward the tuition and fees of the school.

At a Private For-Profit School (Non-WASC Accredited)– $4,000

  • This amount will be applied toward the tuition and fees of the school.

Cal Grant A vs B

Cal Grant A helps pay for tuition and fees at four-year colleges while Cal Grant B provides a living allowance of up to $1,672, in addition to tuition and fee assistance after the first year, at a two- or four-year college.

Cal Grants award amounts vary depending on whether the student is attending a UC, CSU, community college, or private institution.

At UC

Grant TypeFreshmanSophomoreJuniorSeniorTotal Award
A. Tuition$12,570$12,570$12,570$12,570$50,280
B- Stipend
     Tuition
$1,656
$0
$1,656
+$12,570
$1,656
+$12,570
$1,656
+$12,570
$44,398
Source: csac.ca.gov

At CSU

Grant TypeFreshmanSophomoreJuniorSeniorTotal Award
A. Tuition$5,742$5,742$5,742$5,742$22,968
B- Stipend
     Tuition
$1,656
$0
$1,656
+$5,742
$1,656
+$5,742
$1,656
+$5,742
$23,914
Source: csac.ca.gov

If you want to switch from Cal Grant B to Cal Grant A, please contact your Financial Aid Advisor (FAA) at your school. CSAC requires the student to meet with their FAA who will review the student’s financial aid package to see if it would be in the student’s best interest to switch Cal Grant awards. Some factors that the FAA might consider are tuition-only scholarships, tuition remissions, veterans’ benefits, or other sources of funding, prior to switching from a Cal Grant award.

Conclusion

The key to getting Cal grant A package resides largely on the federal student aid application form, better known as FAFSA. This is the document schools use to determine federal aid, including federal direct loans and Pell grants. Many institutions also use it to decide whether students qualify for their own scholarship fund.

Usually, parents don’t pay much attention to FAFSA before the deadline. However, once you understand how the form works, you have a better chance of meeting the help criteria. It’s also important to look beyond the form itself and realize that finding the right school can be as important to your prospect for help as what you write on the document. Finally, If you don’t qualify for a Cal Grant this year, you’re encouraged to apply again next year.

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