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Cal Grants

The Cal Grant Program is funded by the State of California. The program helps California residents afford an education at a California college.

The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is the state agency in charge of the grant. It determines student eligibility and the type of Cal Grant the student will receive.

Cal Grants are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training. They do not have to be repaid. In addition to meeting the financial criteria for a Cal Grant, general eligibility requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria
  • Be a California resident for at least 1 year
  • Attend a qualifying California college
  • Not have a bachelor's or professional degree
  • Have financial need at the college of your choice
  • Have family income and assets below the minimum levels
  • Be enrolled, or plan to enroll, in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time
  • For a full list of eligibility requirements, please click on the following link:

Step 1:  Complete either a FAFSA or Dream Act Application:

  • FAFSA: U.S. Citizens, Permanent Residents, or other Eligible Non-Citizens must complete and submit the online FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at
  • Dream Act: Students who are undocumented and who meet the definition of an AB540 student must complete the California Dream Act Application at

Step 2:  Submit a verified grade point average (GPA) with the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC)

  • At Allan Hancock College, verified GPAs are sent electronically to CSAC prior to the submission deadline.

Should your high school submit your GPA?

Students who have less than 16 completed college units are required to have their High School submit their GPA.  An applicant who does not have a High School GPA, or whose GPA is more than 5 years old, may submit a test score from the General Educational Development Test (GED), the American College Test (ACT) or the SAT Reasoning Test (SATI), in order to be considered for a Cal grant Award.

Should your college submit your GPA?

Students who have completed 16+ degree applicable college units can have their GPA submitted by the college they are attending or have attended.


For students who will be attending a California community colleges, CSU, UC and eligible private universities. 

Applications received by this date will be considered for entitlement awards, the first competitive cycle, and Cal Grant C programs.


Only for students who will be attending a California community college and have already completed 16+ degree applicable college units.

Applications that miss the March 2nd deadline but are received by September 2nd will be considered for the second competitive cycle only. 

There are three types of Cal Grant: A, B, & C.  The types of Cal grant a student may be eligible for will be determined based upon a student's responses while completing the FAFSA or Dream Act Application.  GPA verification, financial need, and type of California college listed on the FAFSA or Dream Act Application also determine which Cal Grant a student may be eligible for.

Cal Grant A:
  • Cal Grant A helps low and middle income students with tuition and fees at a four-year college
  • It will be held in reserve for students who attend a community college until they transfer to a four-year college
  • 3.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for a program of study that is at least two academic years in length resulting in an associate or baccalaureate degree of 48 semester units or the equivalent
  • Can only be used for tuition and fees
 Cal Grant B:
  • Cal Grant B provides low income students with an Access Award for living expenses
  • 2.00 GPA minimum
  • May be used for a program that is at least one academic year in length resulting in an associate, or baccalaureate degree or certificate of at least 24 semester units or the equivalent
  • Sophomore through senior students will receive tuition and fees assistance plus an Access Award at tuition charging institutions
Cal Grant C:   
  • For low to middle income students
  • No GPA requirement
  • For occupational, vocational or technical training programs of least 4 months in length
  • Offers an award amount to assist with tuition and fees, also includes an additional annual book and supplies amount


What is a Cal Grant?

Assembly Bill-2248 Notification:

A Cal Grant award is limited to four academic years.  A student needs to take 15 units per semester or quarter, or 30 semester units or the equivalent quarter units per academic year, in order to graduate within four years.