California Scholarships and Grants

Every state will have there own type of scholarship or grant designed (usually) for residents of that state and/or individuals that will be attending a college within that state. These scholarships are not as fierce as some of the National scholarships, but will still be fairly competitive. Below is the list of the California scholarships and grants offered in the state of California along with a general  overview, who is eligible and how to apply!

California Chafee Grant

General Overview

The California Chafee Grant (also known as ETV program) is a fund provided to current or former youth in foster care to attend a College/University, Career and/or Technical College. As it is a Grant you will not have to repay these funds and unlike many scholarships and grants you are able to use the funds to pay for rent, transportation and even childcare while in school.

Who Is Eligible?

  1. Must be less than 22 years of age at the time of the first scholarship award
  2. Must be a current or former foster care recipient (verified by the California Department of Social Services).
  3. Enrolled in a program that is at least one year in length
  4. Enrolled at least half-time or more
  5. A financial need must be present
  6. Satisfactory Academic Progress as defined for federal financial aid programs

How To Apply

  1. Complete the FAFSA for the aid year you will be attending school and Chafee application located at CSAC website
  2. Wait for school to complete a Needs Analysis via Web Grants confirming ones eligibility
  3. If approved, funds will be disbursed in 4 terms and the checks are sent to the school (made payable to the student).  Typically the disbursements are generally made at the beginning of a term. Terms are as follows
    1. Fall: July 1-September 30
    2. Winter: October 1-December 31
    3. Spring: January 1-March 31
    4. Summer: April 1-June 30
  4. Once the grant is given it will reapply automatically as long as you complete the following years FAFSA
    1. Expires upon your 23rd birthday

California Cal Grant

General Overview

This is California’s largest source of funding for students to pursue post-secondary education and has a few different awards. One thing unique about Cal Grant is that funds set aside by the state are available until used up. What this means is that the number of students as well as what  “need based” encompasses can change from year to year and just because a student qualified this year, does not mean they will qualify the following year even if nothing has changed financially in your life and/or if things may be even worse for you financially. If more applicants have a higher need than you and funds are used up prior to you, then you will not qualify

  • Cal Grant A Entitlement Award

    • The Cal Grant A Entitlement program is structured to give award funds to offset tuition and fee costs for low and middle income California residents attending qualifying institutions.  At CSU and UC schools, this Cal Grant will cover fees up to $5,970 and $12,192 respectively. For private college attendees, the Cal Grant will pay up to $9,223 toward tuition and fees. The Cal Grant Awards are guaranteed for students meeting the eligibility criteria.
  • Cal Grant B Entitlement Award

    • The Cal Grant B Entitlement program is structured to give award funds to offset tuition, fee and access costs for low-income and usually disadvantaged California residents attending eligible institutions. The Cal Grant awards are guaranteed for students meeting the eligibility criteria and most first year students should expect to receive an additional $1,473 their first year for books and living expenses . It is also important to note that if a student chooses to attend a California community college first, funds are reserved for them.
  • Cal Grant C Award

    • The Cal Gran C award is given to those California residents that will attend a occupational or career school.  Students eligible can expect to receive $547 that can be used towards books and other resources needed for a school within the California Community College system. An additional $2,462 can be granted and applied toward tuition if a student attends a college/university outside of the California Community College system.
  • Competitive Cal Grant A Award

    • The Competitive Cal Grant A program is for students with at least a 3.0 GPA for low to middle income California residents attending qualifying institutions. The main difference between the competitive and entitlement  Cal Grants are that the competitive awards are not guaranteed, and are offered on a competitive basis to students not receiving an Entitlement award. The funds from the grant are to be used to pay for tuition and fees.
  • Competitive Cal Grant B Award

    • The Competitive Cal Grant B program is designed to provide grant funds to offset tuition for low-income and disadvantaged California residents attending eligible institutions who maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. The main difference between the competitive and entitlement  Cal Grants are that the competitive awards are not guaranteed, and are offered on a competitive basis to students not receiving an Entitlement award.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Attend an eligible California institution
  • U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be a legal California resident for at least 12 months prior to the start date of the Cal Grant academic year
  • Not exceed the total family income and asset ceiling limits for the award year
  • Meet U.S. Selective service requirements (if applicable)
  • Pursuing your first bachelor’s degree
  • Not owe a refund on any federal or state grant or be in default on a student loan
  • 3.0 GPA for Cal Grant A and 2.0 GPA for Cal Grant B
  • Not owe a refund on any state or federal educational grant
  • Not be in prison
  • Be enrolled in an undergraduate degree or program leading to a certification
  • Maintain enrollment status of least half-time in the term
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

How To Apply

  1. Complete aid year FAFSA no later than March 2nd
  2. State will then confirm your eligibility and update WebGrants (student portal).
  3. Funds are disbursed in 4 terms. Terms are as follows
    1. Fall: July 1-September 30
    2. Winter: October 1-December 31
    3. Spring: January 1-March 31
    4. Summer: April 1-June 30
  4. Reapply automatically each year by completing the following year FAFSA
    1. No later than March 2nd
    2. Renewal students will be subjected to same eligibility requirements each year

Still want to know more, visit http://www.calgrants.org

California Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP)

General Overview

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs or as it is often referred to, GEAR UP was enacted in 1998 in an effort to increase the number and opportunity of very low-income students to gain the skills, preparation and of most important encouragement to enter and succeed in college.

Who Is Eligible?

  • Be a California Resident for at least 1 year prior to the award period
  • Must be younger than 22 years of age when the first scholarship is awarded
  • Enrolled at least half time in an eligible degree-granting public or non-public college in California
  • Be eligible for the Federal PELL Grant
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress

How To Apply

This program does not require a student to apply, instead the recipients are generally nominated by their school districts. However, as with most state grants students will be required to complete a FAFSA to determine PELL eligibility each aid year.

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