Apply for Debt-Free College Money
State and Federal Grants, unlike a loan, do not have to be paid back. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for either the California Grant (Cal Grant) or Federal Grants (Pell Grants).
The Cal Grant Program is funded by the State of California. The program helps California residents afford an education at a California college. The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is the state agency in charge of the grant. It determines student eligibility and the type of Cal Grant the student will receive. The Cal Grant Program funding changes every year. Check CSAC’s website for the latest information on funding.
Fill out a FAFSA, then submit your GPA electronically. Undocumented students can also apply by first completing the California Dream Act Application online by March 2. To learn more, visit the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website.
High School Certification
Does CSAC need you to report your high school graduation status? Fill out the High School Graduation Verification Form.
Cal Grant has two deadlines: March 2 and September 2.
CSAC will notify you by email or mail if they select you for a potential Cal Grant. CSAC will use the email or mailing address on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
If your email or mailing address changes, or if you change schools, update this information by logging in to CSAC’s WebGrants 4 Students.
Student Success Completion Grant
If you are receiving a Cal Grant B or Cal Grant C award for the academic year and you are enrolled in 12 units for fall or spring by the add/drop deadline, we will award you an extra $1,298 per semester from the new Student Success Completion Grant. But wait there is more! Being enrolled in 15 or more units for fall or spring or by the add/drop deadline will award you $4,000 per semester.
Federal Pell Grant
Pell Grants provide federal funds for eligible students to help meet college expenses. To learn more, visit the Federal Student Aid website.
You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for this grant. Not all applicants will be eligible. Pell Grants are based on enrollment and usually awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree.
Federal Pell Grant amounts are based on your FAFSA results, your school’s cost of attendance, and your status as a full-time or part-time student.
The Pell Grant maximum can change each year and depends on federal funding. The amount you receive will be determined based on your:
- FAFSA results
- School’s cost of attendance
- Status as a full-time or part-time student
Parent Who Died in Military Service
The maximum award amount is given to any eligible student whose parent or guardian died as a result of military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001. You must be under 24 years old or enrolled at least part-time in college at the time of your parent’s or guardian’s death.
No Pell Grant for Classes Added After Add/Drop Deadline
The number of units you are enrolled in at the end of the add/drop period for the semester determines the amount of your Pell Grant. Check the academic calendar for the exact add/drop date. If you add a class after the semester add/drop deadline, you cannot be paid for the additional units by a Pell Grant.
Additional Grant Opportunities
- AmeriCorps Grant Volunteer with AmeriCorps and receive an education award of up to $4,725 each year for up to two years. This program provides full-time educational awards in return for community service. You can register online to submit a voucher payment request form. You can also submit a voucher through the Financial Aid Office. If approved, the funds from the AmeriCorps program will arrive in two payments. The first payment will arrive around the start of the semester and the balance at the mid-point of the semester. You will need to pay for your fees. Once we receive the funds, we will process a refund. For more information, go to the AmeriCorps website.
- California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
- California Military Department GI Bill Award Program (CMD GI Bill)
- Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG)