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Are you a student of UC Berkeley seeking funds to finance your studies? Cal Grant is the answer!
Cal Grants are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree, or vocational; or career training, and do not have to be repaid. To apply for the Grant, you must meet certain requirements.
This piece will give you the full details of what Cal Grant is about, the eligibility criteria, and complete guide on how to apply for the grant.
What is Cal Grant?
Cal Grant is a financial aid program administrated by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) providing aid to California undergraduates, vocational training students, and those in teacher certification programs. Cal Grants are the largest source of California state-funded student financial aid. Wikipedia
Types of Cal Grants
Cal Grant A Eligibility Award
These awards are available to students who graduated from high school in 2000-2001 or later and achieved a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Your college education must lead directly to an associate’s and bachelor’s degree, or qualify you to move from a community college to a bachelor’s degree.
Eligible students must have financial needs at least equal to the amount of the award plus US $ 1,500 and have household income and assets below the established limits.
Cal Grant A Eligibility Awards are valid for a maximum of the mandatory system-wide allowances at the CSU, which is currently $5,742.
Students must apply to the FAFSA or the California Dream Act (CADAA) and submit a verified high school average by March 2 of their senior year in order to receive the award for the following fall.
If you missed the deadline in your senior year of high school, you can apply before March 2 of the following year.
Cal Grant B Award
These awards are available to students who graduated from high school in 2000-2001 or later and have a minimum grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale. Eligible students must have a minimum financial need of $700 and a household income and assets below the established limits. The income and wealth caps for Cal Grant B Eligibility Awards are lower than those for Cal Grant A Eligibility Awards.
First-time students awarding a Cal Grant B may not receive the tuition portion of the scholarship, but they will receive an additional grant that can be used for books and supplies, transportation, and living expenses.
From the second and subsequent years of Cal Grant B achievement, students are eligible for the tuition portion of the Cal Grant B award to cover mandatory system-wide tuition and surcharge. Current system-wide tuition fees can be found here
Students must apply to FAFSA or CADAA and submit a verified high school GPA by March 2 of their senior year in order to receive the award by the following fall. If you missed the deadline in your senior year of high school, you can apply before March 2 of the following year.
Cal Grant California Community College Transfer Eligibility Award
These awards are for students who graduated from a California high school after July 1, 2000; who did not apply for and receive a Cal Grant Eligibility Award after graduating from high school; and those transitioning from California community college to qualifying four-year California institution. Students must have a minimum GPA of at least 2.4 on all transferable community college courses.
Eligible students must be under 28 years of age and aspiring to a bachelor’s degree in order to receive a transfer title. Broadcast grants are A or B depending on the income and wealth ceiling under which the student falls. The award levels are the same as for the authorization programs A and B.
Cal Grant A and B Competition Awards
A limited number of Cal Grant awards are available to students who are not eligible for awards. Eligible students must meet all basic eligibility requirements; have financial needs and stay below the income and wealth ceiling. These awards are for undergraduate students who have not graduated from high school or young graduates; Eligibility for these awards gives priority to non-traditional students.
Students receive A or B awards in the scholarship levels listed above for the legal programs. To learn more about these scholarships, visit the California Student Aid Commission.
Cal Grant Requirements
- Be a U.S. citizen, eligible noncitizen, or AB 540-eligible
- Be a California resident at the time of high school graduation and at the time you receive a Cal Grant or AB 540-eligible student
- Meet U.S. Selective Service requirements (males)
- Enroll in and attend a Cal Grant-eligible California school
- Maintain at least half-time enrollment status
- Have financial need at an eligible California school
- Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
- Not have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher degree (e.g., master’s) or the equivalent
- Not exceed parent or student income or asset ceiling
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school
- Not owe a refund on any state or federal educational grant or have defaulted on a student loan
- Not be incarcerated
Cal Grant Application
Eligible students can receive full-time scholarships for up to four years. The actual number of years of eligibility will depend on the student’s grade level at the time the award was first received. Students enrolling for a required five-year undergraduate or teaching degree may be eligible for a grant fifth-year scholarship.
How to apply
- Complete either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application
- Complete a GPA Verification Form
Cal Grant Login
Cal Grant login will enable you to see the status of your grant.
Deadline for Cal Grant
- Deadline is MARCH 2nd: For students who will be attending California community colleges; CSU’s; UC’s; and eligible private universities.
- SEPT 2nd: Only for students who will be attending a California community college and have already completed 16+ units. Applications that miss the March 2nd deadline but are received by September 2nd will be considered for the second competitive cycle only.
Cal Grant Vs Pell Grant
Pell Grants are usually 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 receive a federal Pell 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.
Pell Grants are federal grants and Cal Grants are state grants. Both are for students with financial needs. Some Cal Grants have a minimum GPA requirement while federal Pell Grants do not. You could qualify for both Grants.
To apply for a Pell Grant, you must submit the FAFSA. For the Cal Grant, you must submit both the FAFSA or CADAA.
Learn more about Government Grants (Detailed Guide)