State Grants for California Students

California has several college grants and financial aid programs for its students and parents. Here’s a list of some of them to get you started.

California College Grants

Cal Grant

These California grants (which do not have to be repaid) are for students who are going after an undergraduate degree, attending a vocational school or undergoing career training. In order to qualify, a student must:

  • Complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or CA Dream Act Application (required to apply, too)
  • Have been in California for at least a year
  • Be attending a college in the state that is participating in the program
  • Demonstrate financial need
  • Be attending at least half time
  • Meet academic standards by the school.

There are actually a few different grants under Cal Grants available for California students, but applicants don’t technically need to know the differences between the three when applying. The program will determine which you are. They are:

  • Cal Grant Community College Entitlement Award
  • Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award
  • Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award
  • Cal Grant Competitive Awards
  • Cal Grant B Foster Youth Award
  • Cal Grant C Award

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Golden State Education and Training Grant Program

For individuals who lost their job during COVID-19 and want to attend training to further their skills, there is the Golden State Education and Training Grant Program (GSETGP). Awarding $2,500, the student must enroll in a qualified training program and meet other criteria set forth by the state.

Middle-Class Scholarship

MCS is for students who are interested in teaching. The award amount can depend on a few different factors including the cost to attend college, other gift aid the student may have received, and any parent contribution. The award can be received for up to four years.

To be eligible, students:

  • And their family must have an income and assets worth less than $201,000
  • Must be a California resident
  • Be attending the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU)
  • Meet academic standards

Golden State Teacher Grant Program

Another award that is dedicated to future teachers in the state of California is the GSTG program. Granting up to $20,000, students have to complete their program and receive teaching credentials within 3 years of receiving the funds. After graduation, the teacher has to work in a priority school in the state for four years (within an 8 year period). A priority school is where over 55% of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals, serve current foster youth, or are classified as English Learners.

In order to apply and be eligible, interested students must complete their FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application.

And Others

A few other California college grants you may qualify for include:

  • California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth
  • California Military Department GI Bill Award Program
  • Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program
  • California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant Program

Where Can You Find More Information about California College Grants?

To uncover more details about these grants, how to apply, and eligibility requirements, head over to the California Student Aid Commission website. The commission also uses the WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) portal to help students get access to valuable resources during the financial aid process. There you can find details about your Cal Grant application, Chafee account, and other financial aid tools.

Scholarships and grants can make a world of difference for students applying to college and in need of financial aid. After you’ve completed your FAFSA, it’s time to get to work on scholarship research. College Raptor’s Scholarship Search tool is the perfect place to begin


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