If you’re a high school senior, by now you’ve realized a big part of your senior year is actually getting ready for next year, your first year of college. Even if you’ve already decided what school to attend and have been accepted, there’s still a lengthy to do list you need to complete.
One of the most important things you can do to get ready for college is fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This information is used by colleges to help them determine how much college-sponsored, state, and federal aid a student is eligible for, including grants and loans. Read our “Filling Out the FAFSA” blog post if you need tips on how to fill yours out.
For students who live in California, it’s critical to complete the FAFSA before the deadline for Cal Grant, which is March 2nd this year. Cal Grant is a significant award potentially worth $8,000+ and is money you don’t have to pay back. It can be used at most schools in California, including community colleges, California State University, University of California, and qualifying independent and career colleges or technical schools. Eligibility for Cal Grant is based on whether a student recently graduated high school, their verified GPA, their FAFSA, and the type of California colleges listed on their FAFSA.
Applying for Cal Grant takes just two simple steps!
- Submit your FAFSA. To ensure your FAFSA information is sent to the California Student Aid Commission to be considered for Cal Grant, the first three colleges you choose to receive your FAFSA information must be four-year colleges located in California – like PUC!
- Submit a GPA verification form. Your school may automatically submit your GPA for you, or you might need to submit it using the verification form. This form needs to be certified by your school and submitted to the California Student Aid Commission before the March 2nd deadline.
It can be stressful to keep track of everything you need to get done to be ready for college, and adding in finances can make things extra confusing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and our Student Finance office has five Financial Counselors who can answer any questions you have about Cal Grant. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.862.7080 option 1.
You may also find reading through these Cal Grant FAQs helpful: http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=904
Editor’s note: This is dated material and does not necessarily reflect how the student financial services office at PUC and the financial process currently operates. Please contact your financial counselor for more information.