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Cal Grant A & Cal Grant B Competitive Financial Aid Awards

Updated on June 1, 2011

Cal Grants are California resident’s largest source of state funded financial aid that assists students to pay for their education. Cal Grant awards may be used only at qualifying California colleges and universities.

There are two parts to the grant, Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B. Students are only awarded one Cal Grant at a time.

Cal Grant A Competitive Financial Aid Award

Competitive Cal Grant A awards are intended to assist students from low income and middle-income families; the student must have at least a 3.0 grade point average. These funds provide assistance toward:

  • Tuition & Fees for California residents at a qualifying institutions
  • Program of instruction must be not less than two academic years
  • Program must lead to an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree
  • or
  • Program of instruction must lead to a transfer from a California community college to a Sr. California University or college in bachelor’s degree program

The Competitive Cal Grant A award is not guaranteed. This award is offered on a competitive basis to those students that do not receive an Entitlement Award.

Cal Grant B Competitive Financial Aid Award

Competitive Cal Grant B awards are intended for students who have at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA), and are from disadvantaged and low-income families.

To be considered for a Cal Grant award, the student must submit all necessary paperwork to the Commission by the annual deadline of March 2nd .

From there, a selection process takes place which is based on students that have disadvantages related to finances, education, culture, language, community, environment, and any other conditions that may hamper access to a postsecondary institution; further:

  • First year award recipients will only receive awards that provide funds for living expenses, transportation, supplies, and books not to exceed $2,068 annually, $517 per term.
  • Beginning with the student’s second year of Cal Grant B benefits, Cal Grant B also pays for tuition/fees for California residents attending a qualifying institution.
  • Coursework must be for at least one academic year, and students must be enrolled at least half-time.

To learn more about applying for the Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B scholarships/financial aid benefits, please contact the California Student Aid Commission.


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