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State Aid Programs

California, through the Student Aid Commission, sponsors or administers many financial aid programs for higher education. These include the state-funded Cal Grants A, B and C for undergraduate students, Middle Class Scholarship, a State Work-Study program, a loan assumption program for teachers, graduate fellowships, a program to assist the dependents of law enforcement officers and firefighters who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty. Also included are a number of federally funded programs including education loans for students or parents of dependent students; the Paul Douglas Teacher Scholarship, and the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship. Contact the campus financial aid office for more information about these programs.

To find more information on each grant, click below:

To qualify for a Cal Grant A, B or C, a student must be a California resident attending an eligible school or college in the state, must be making satisfactory academic progress as determined by the institution, must be in a program of study leading directly to an undergraduate degree or certificate, must not possess a baccalaureate degree prior to receiving a Cal Grant award, and must not owe a refund on any state or federal educational grant or have defaulted on a student loan. A student may accept only one Cal Grant — either A, B or C. Students must apply for a Cal Grant by the March 2 deadline.

There are seven Cal Grant awards:

  • Cal Grant A Entitlement and Competitive awards
  • Cal Grant B Entitlement and Competitive awards
  • California Community College Transfer Entitlement awards
  • Cal Grant C
  • Cal Grant T

Except for Cal Grant T, which has a teaching service requirement, Cal Grants don’t need to be paid back.

Cal Grants A, B, and C are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree, or occupational or career training. Cal Grant T is only for students who plan to attend a teaching credential program. Funding for Cal Grant A and B awards is available for up to four years for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, and may be extended an additional year for teaching credential or other mandatory five-year programs.

Cal Grant awards may be used only at qualifying colleges in California. You may accept only one Cal Grant at a time.

If you accelerate your college course work by attending summer sessions, your Cal Grant award may be increased proportionally for the year. However, the total amount you may receive in a four-year period will remain the same.

If you’re eligible for both a Cal Grant A and B, weigh the advantages of each and talk to your college’s financial aid administrator about which one to choose.

To receive your Cal Grant benefits, you must be enrolled at least half time- at least six semester units or the equivalent.

Cal Grant A assists with tuition and fees for students at public and independent colleges, and some occupational and career colleges. Your course work must be for at least two academic years.

At the University of California and the California State University, the award covers up to full systemwide fees ($12,240 at UC campuses and $5,472 at CSU campuses) and up to $9,708 for tuition and fees at independent colleges.

There are two Cal Grant A awards: Entitlement and Competitive.

Cal Grant A Entitlement Award:

Every graduating high school senior who has at least a 3.0 grade point average, meets the Cal Grant financial aid and academic requirements, and applies on time will receive a Cal Grant A Entitlement award. The entitlement award covers full systemwide fees at UC and CSU campuses, and tuition and fee support at independent colleges.

Cal Grant A Competitive Award:

Other eligible students who have at least a 3.0 grade point average may apply for a Cal Grant A Competitive award. Selection is based on a composite score that takes into consideration your family’s income, parents’ educational level, grade point average, time out of high school, and whether or not you come from a single-parent household. The performance standards and resources available to your high school also may be taken into account.

Community College Reserve Grant:

If you receive a Cal Grant A but choose to attend a California community college first, you can reserve your award for up to three years until you transfer to a four-year college, if you continue to qualify. If your Cal Grant A is held in reserve, you can activate it any time. If you list a California community college before a four-year California college on your FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application, it will be assumed the community college is your first choice. If you receive a Cal Grant A, the award will be placed in reserve for your first year unless you transfer to a tuition-or fee-charging college and request to activate your award. When you do transfer, be sure to let your school know you have a CC Reserve grant.

Cal Grant B provides a living allowance and tuition and fee assistance for very low-income students. Awards for first-year students provide up to $1,656 for books and living expenses. When renewed, or applied for beyond the freshman year, the award also helps pay for tuition and fees. The top awards for tuition and fees are the same as those for Cal Grant A. For the Cal Grant B, your course work must be for at least one academic year.

There are two Cal Grant B awards: Entitlement and Competitive.

Cal Grant B Entitlement Award:

Every graduating high school senior who has at least a 2.0 average, meets the Cal Grant financial and eligibility requirements, and applies on time will receive a Cal Grant B Entitlement award.

Cal Grant B Competitive Award:

Other eligible students who have at least a 2.0 grade point average may apply for a Cal Grant B Competitive award. Selection is based on a composite score that takes into consideration your family¹s income, parents¹ educational level, grade point average, time out of high school, whether or not you come from a single-parent household, and your high school¹s performance standards and resources.

High school students who graduate after June 30, 2000, and go to a California community college may receive a Cal Grant A or B award to attend a four-year college. You’re guaranteed an award if you have at least a 2.4 grade point average at the community college; meet the admissions requirements for the qualifying four-year college; meet the Cal Grant eligibility and financial requirements; apply by March 2nd of the award year; and are under 24 years old as of December 31st of the award year. These awards are offered to California community college students who weren’t awarded a Cal Grant within a year of graduating from high school, but who meet certain requirements at the time they transfer to a four-year college. Be sure to talk to your school’s transfer center staff or financial aid office if you have questions.

Cal Grant C awards assist students in occupational or vocational programs with tuition and training costs. The $547 award is for books, tools, and equipment. If you’re planning to attend a school other than a California community college, you also may receive up to $2,462 in tuition assistance. Funding is available for up to two years, depending on the length of the program.

To qualify, you must enroll in a vocational program at a community or independent college, or vocational school, that is at least four months long.

If eligible for the award, you’ll receive a Cal Grant C Supplement application in mid-May, which must be completed and returned by June 15. Supplements are scored based on your work experience, educational history, and vocational aptitude.

Cal Grant T awards cover one year of tuition and fees at a program of professional teaching preparation approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. In return, you must teach at a low-performing elementary or secondary school for one year, for each $2,000 in grant money received, for up to four years. If you don’t complete the teaching service requirement, you must repay the portion of the award for which you did not complete your service.

At the University of California and the California State University, the award covers full systemwide fees ($3,609 at UC and $1,506 at CSU), and up to $9,708 for tuition and fees at independent college

The Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) is a program that provides undergraduate students with family incomes up to $150,000 and a maximum annual household asset amount of $150,000, a scholarship to attend University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campuses. Students whose families qualify are eligible for up to a 40% tuition/fee discount and students whose families earn up to $150,000 per year are eligible for no less than 10% tuition/fee discount.

The State Work-Study program at a limited number of schools offers eligible college and university students the opportunity to earn money to help defray educational expenses.

Schools will help find jobs which relate to the student’s course of study, career goals, or the exploration of careers. Students will be paid at rates comparable to those paid for positions within the employing organization. Jobs may be with public institutions or nonprofit or profit-making enterprises.

Public schools may employ students as librarians, teacher aides, and tutors. Private and proprietary postsecondary institutions cannot hire students in this program.

This federally-funded program provides college scholarships to outstanding high school graduates and college students committed to pursuing teaching careers at the pre-school, elementary, or secondary school level.

Scholarships of up to $5,000 may be awarded for up to four academic years. Applicants must be in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class, or receive a General Education Development (GED) average standard score of 62 or higher.
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Participants agree to teach two years full time for each year the scholarship is received. This requirement may be reduced by 50 percent if teaching is done in a subject shortage area identified by the U.S. Department of Education. Recipients who fail to fulfill the teaching requirement must repay the scholarship, plus interest and collection fees. Acceptance of this scholarship may affect other financial aid, including Cal Grants.

This federally funded program provides college scholarships to graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement in high school and who show promise of continued academic achievement in college.

These $1,500 scholarships are renewable for up to four years of accredited postsecondary study in the U.S. Scholarships are awarded, in part, according to the county district in which the applicant resides.

Applications for 2002-03 will be available at all high schools after February 1, 2002. Institutional deadlines may vary but all high school nominations must be submitted by March 31, 2002.

Teacher candidates may apply for the Assumption Program of Loans for Education (APLE). The Commission annually accepts up to 500 new APLE program applicants selected by participating colleges and universities which approved teacher preparation programs.

Applicants must have completed at least 60 semester units of undergraduate study and continue to be enrolled at least half-time through the end of each term.

To receive a maximum of $11,000 in loan-assumption benefits, participants must provide four consecutive years of teaching in the California public school in a designated subject matter shortage area (mathematics, science, English, foreign language, bilingual education or special education) or in a school serving a high proportion of low-income students.

Applications for 2002-03 will be available after March 1, 2002 at postsecondary institutions with teacher preparation programs. Participants are selected by their institution. Institutional nominations must be in by July 15, 2002.

 

The Student Aid Commission will select up to 100 outstanding college students pursuing a Regular Children’s Center Instructional or Supervision Permit to participate in the Child Development Teacher Loan Assumption Program. The Commission will assume educational loan debt in return for a participant’s service as a teacher or supervisor in a California licensed children’s center serving low-income families. This is a federally supported program subject to annual funding review by Congress.

Eligible applicants must: have received or have been approved to receive an educational loan; not be delinquent on any educational loan nor owe a repayment on a grant; be enrolled in a course of study leading to a Regular Children’s Center Instructional Permit or hold the Regular Children’s Center Instructional Permit an be enrolled in coursework leading to a baccalaureate degree and the Regular Children’s Center Supervision Permit; be enrolled in 12 semester units in a California Community College or a California public or private four-year institution; and maintain academic progress and at least a “C” grade point average.

Participants must provide two consecutive years of fulltime teaching or supervision service with the same eligible California licensed children’s center within three years of completing the coursework for their permit. The Commission will assume up to $1,000 of educational loan debt each year for the two years a participant provides eligible teaching service with the Instructional Permit and up to $2,000 each year for the two years a participant provides eligible supervision service with the Supervision Permit.

For applications or more information about the program, contact your school’s financial aid or early childhood education office or the Student Aid Commission.

Candidates must be pursuing recognized advanced or professional degrees at least halftime at an eligible California graduate or professional school. Applicants must demonstrate their intent to become college or university faculty members Awards are made on the basis of grades, graduate admissions test scores and consideration of disadvantaged background.

About 300 awards annually assist with tuition and fees at independent and public colleges and universities. In 2001-02, new awards were $882 at CSU, $1,669 at UC and a maximum $6,490 at the independent college.

By the March 2, 2001 deadline, applicants must file a completed FAFSA with the appropriate need analysis service a completed GPA Verification Form with the Student Aid Commission and arrange to have the appropriate test scores sent to the Commission.

This program provides educational grants to needy dependents and spouses of California peace officers (Highway Patrol, marshals, sheriffs, police officers); and employees of the Department of Corrections or youth Authority; and permanent and fulltime firefighters employed by counties, cities districts, and other political subdivisions of the same who have been killed or totally disabled in the line of duty. The death or disability must have been the result of an accident or injury caused by external violence or physical fence incurred in the performance of duty.

Grants range from $100 to $9,708 a year for up to four years. To apply you must fill out a FAFSA and let your financial aid administrator know you are eligible for LEPD grant. For application materials, write directly to the Student Aid Commission, P.O. Box 510624, Sacramento, CA 94245-0624.