Cal Grants

What is a Cal Grant?

Cal Grants are funded by the State of California. The awards do not have to be paid back.

How to apply for a Cal Grant

Step One:

  • Complete and submit the online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) the FAFSA form is a federal form that must be filed by any student who wants to be considered for college financial aid. For a Cal Grant, the FAFSA must be completed and filed with the federal processor by March 2* of each year. Get a federal personal identification number, or PIN, to electronically sign the FAFSA on the Web. If you’re a dependent student, your parents can also get a PIN to e-sign your FAFSA.
  • You can also download a PDF version of the FAFSA which you will need to mail for processing. Or call toll free 800.433.3243 to have a paper FAFSA sent to you. If you’ll be mailing the FAFSA or the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form, be sure to make a copy for your records and obtain a Certificate of Mailing ($1.15 in addition to postage) from the Post Office so that you can verify the date you mailed your forms.
  • *Missed the March 2 deadline? There is a secondary deadline, specifically for California Community College students, September 2. Submit the required forms before the September 2 deadline to be considered for this specific Cal Grant. There is a limited number available.

Step Two:

  • File a verified grade point average (GPA) with the California Student Aid Commission by no later than March 2*.
  • Some high schools and colleges automatically file their students’ verified GPAs with the Commission. Some do not. You must confirm whether your school will file your GPA for you, or obtain a Cal Grant GPA Verification Form, get it certified by a school official and mail it yourself.

Learn more at: Getting Started.