For many first-generation low-income students, the Cal Grant Program has proven to be a great equalizer in creating access to higher education at the four-year university level.
The Cal Grant (A and B) Program offers funds that pay state fees at the UC, CSU, and approximately $9,000 towards tuition at California Private Colleges/Universities. The Cal Grant B also includes an additional $1,656 living stipend. It is important to note that because the Cal Grant Program is an entitlement benefit, students meeting the requirements below are guaranteed to receive full grant funds.
Cal Grant A & B Requirements:
1) Submit a FAFSA or CADAA by March 2nd
2) Meet family size and income limits provided in Table 1 below
3) Meet Cal Grant A & B GPA threshold
- Cal Grant A has a GPA threshold of 3.00 or higher
- Cal Grant B has a GPA threshold of 2.00 or higher
- In the case where a student is eligible for both the Cal Grant A and B, the grant-awarding institution will decide which to award.
NOTE: Each high school is responsible for confirming that the state receives the verified GPA for each 12th grade student. Electronic GPA uploads are due October 1 of each year.
Students may begin applying for the Cal Grant on October 1st of their senior year. Students who submit a FAFSA or CDAA early may be notified of their entitlement funds by mid-November.
Students who delay submitting their FAFSA or CDAA at or near the March 2nd deadline may not receive their official full financial aid package(s) until May or later. Since May 1st is the Statement of Intent to Register (SIR) deadline, these students will have to decide which college they want to attend without knowing the full extent of aid they will receive.
Bridging Tips: The Cal Grant Program is a critical factor for students from our communities pursuing higher education. Ensure that students and their families understand that the Cal Grant Program will pay state fees for all eligible students and that they should apply as soon as the application opens on October 1st of their senior year.
Table. 1 Cal Grant Income Eligibility 2021-2022
Cal Grant A
Cal Grant B
Six or more