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Home > Services > Financial Aid > Financial Aid Programs

California State Grants

Back to Financial Aid Programs

What is a Cal Grant?

Students must meet the general eligibility requirements and have the following criteria for the Cal Grant Programs:

  • Be a California resident or be classified as an AB 540 student by your college’s Admissions & Records Office
  • Be attending at least half-time at a qualifying California college
  • Have not already earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, or the equivalent
  • Meet income and asset ceilings as established by CSAC

Deadline Dates

First deadline March 2nd.

A second deadline for community college applicants is September 2nd (except for AB 540 students), but we highly recommend that applicants meet the March 2nd deadline when more funding is available.

Students must submit a GPA Verification and FAFSA (or California Dream Act Application for AB 540 students) by the applicable deadlines to the California Student Aid Commission. 

Note: GPA verification for students enrolled within the Los Angeles Community College District will be electronically sent to the Commission by the deadline date for those who meet specific criteria.

Contact Financial Aid Office if you have questions regarding your eligibility to have your GPA electronically sent and for other possible options.

California Dream Act

What is the California Dream Act?


Cal Grants Available

Entitlement Grants

  • Cal Grant A – Provides grant funds to help pay for tuition/fees at qualifying institutions offering baccalaureate degree programs.  If you received a Cal Grant A but choose to attend a California Community College first, your award will be held in reserve for up to three years until you transfer to a four year college.
  • Cal Grant B – Provides subsistence payments for new recipients in the amount of $1,656* for a full-time, full year award (* 2015-2016 award year amount).
    • Payments are reduced accordingly for three-quarter and half-time enrollment for each payment period.
    • Cal Grant B recipients who transfer to a tuition/fee-charging school after completing one or two years at a community college may have their grant increased to include tuition and fees as well as subsistence.
  • Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award – This award is for eligible CA Community College students who are transferring to a four-year college and are under the age of 28 as of December 31st of the award year.

Competitive Grants

  • Cal Grant A and B competitive awards are used for the same purpose as the entitlement awards, except that they are not guaranteed and the number of awards is limited.
  • Cal Grant C recipients are selected based on financial need and vocational aptitude. Students must be enrolled in a vocational program at a California Community College, private college, or career technical school in a course of study lasting from four months to two years. The 2015-2016 Cal Grant C maximum award amount was $547.

Full-Time Student Success Grant

The Full-Time Student Success Grant is a new financial aid program for Cal Grant B recipients attending a California community college full time.
  • How does it work?
    • On top of the $1,656 annual Cal Grant B award paid at community colleges, the Full-Time Student Success Grant pays full-time Cal Grant B recipients an additional $600 annually. All full-time community college students receiving Cal Grant B will be offered this assistance, and only full-time students can receive this benefit.
  • How does it help?
    • The Full-Time Student Success Grant is designed to encourage students to maintain full-time status. Full-time attendance speeds the completion of your degree and saves you money! Attending full time gets you out faster, and allows you to get on with your life and career!
  • How do I apply?
    • Cal Grants and the Full-Time Student Success Grant are just some of the financial aid programs that can help cover your college expenses. You apply for a Cal Grant by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application and have your current school submit your GPA to the California Student Aid Commission. Your completion of the FAFSA also enables consideration for federal grants and loans.
    • Community college students who are California residents and who miss the March 2 deadline can apply by September 2 to receive consideration for competitive Cal Grant awards. Students completing the Dream Act Application must apply by March 2 in order to receive Cal Grant consideration. But it is important to point out that students can apply year-round for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver.
  • What else do I need to know?
    • Full-time attendance is 12 units per term. However, to earn a college degree in four years, you will need to take more than 12 units per term. Students should talk to their college counselor to set up an education plan. Your education plan is your path to completing your degree program and outlines the classes you need to take to meet your educational goal.


Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)

The SSCG is a supplemental grant with the purpose of providing students with additional financial aid to help offset the total cost of community college and to encourage full-time attendance and successful on-time completion.  Students must be receiving a Cal Grant B or C and is enrolled at least full-time per term.  A maximum of $1,298 annual at $649 per term for eligible students who enroll and attend 12 through 14.99 units per term.  A maximum of $4,000 annually at $2,000 per term for eligible students who enroll and attend 15 units per term.  


Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant (LEPD)

Student eligibility:

  • Be a child (natural or adopted) or spouse, at the time of death or injury of a California peace officer or law enforcement officer; firefighter; or officer or employee of the Department of Corrections or the Department of Youth Authority.
  • Be enrolled in a minimum of six units at a California post secondary institution accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
  • Demonstrate financial need as determined by the Financial Aid Office at the institution in which the student is enrolled.

The grant will be in an amount equal to the amount provided to a student who has been awarded a Cal Grant.  Awards may be used for tuition and fees, books, supplies, and living expenses.

For more information and to obtain an application:

  • Go to, Commission Programs or email
  • Call the California Student Aid Commission’s Specialized Program Branch at (888) 224-7268, option #3, or
  • Submit a request in writing to:

California Student Aid Commission Specialized Programs P.O. Box 419029 Rancho Cordova, CA 95741-9029


Child Development Grant Program

Child Development Grant Program is for students who plan to teach or supervise at a licensed children's center.

Selected grant recipients attending a two year post-secondary institution are eligible to receive up to $1,000 per academic year. The grant is renewable for an additional year and is awarded to students attending a public or private two or four year college in California. To learn more about this program and to apply online, visit the California Student Aid Commission website at, or call (888) 224-7268, option #3.


Chafee Grant

What is a Chafee Grant?

The California Chafee Grant is a federal grant administered by the California Student Aid Commission.  It provides assistance to current or former foster youth to use for college courses or vocational school training.  Eligible students may receive up to $5,000 per academic year.

To learn more about this program and to apply online, visit the Commission website at,  or call (888) 224-7268,  or email your questions to with “Attn:  Chafee” in the subject line, or write the commission or mail your application to:

California Student Aid Commission Specialized Programs Operations Branch Attn:  California Chafee Grant Program P.O. Box 419029 Rancho, Cordova, CA  95741-9029 FAX: (916) 526-7977


California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNG EAAP)

The CNG EAAP is a program for active members in the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia designed to provide an educational incentive to improve skills, competencies, and abilities. To qualify, you must:
  • Be an active member who has served two (2) years in the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia;
  • Agree to remain an active member throughout the participation period in the program;
  • Agree to use the award to obtain a certificate, degree, or diploma that you currently do not possess;
  • Be enrolled in, registered at, or accepted to a qualifying institution;
  • Agree to maintain enrollment of a minimum of three (3) academic units per semester, or the equivalent, at a qualifying institution;
  • Agree to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA); and
  • Be a resident of California for at least one year.
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