What are the Cal Grant A and B Competitive awards?

You are considered a competitive applicant unless you meet one of two criteria: you are either a recent high school graduate (this year or last year) or if you are transferring directly from a community college to a four (4) year school in the upcoming academic year.

Competitive awards are not guaranteed and only a limited number are available each year—half are set aside for students who apply by the March 2nd deadline, and the other half are for California Community College students who meet the September 2nd application deadline. Eligibility is geared toward nontraditional students — those who didn’t go to college right after high school, don’t depend on their family for financial support or are returning to college for career training — and takes into account not only GPA, but also time out of high school, family income, parents’ education levels, high school performance standards and other factors, such as whether the student comes from a single-parent household or was a foster youth.

If you fall into this category, you will need to submit the FAFSA or CADAA and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the March 2nd and September 2nd Cal Grant application deadline. In addition, you must:

  • demonstrate financial need as calculated by your FAFSA or CADAA
  • be attending or plan to attend a California Community College, University of California campus, California State University campus, a qualifying independent college or university or career college or technical or vocational school
  • be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
  • be a California resident
  • not have a bachelor's or professional degree
  • not be in default on a state or federal student loan, or owe any refund on any state or federal grant