Many states have grant programs that assist students with college expenses. Grants are money gifts that do not need to be paid back. In California a student who can demonstrate financial need can receive the following: University of California: $12,240; California State University, $5,472; eligible private colleges, $9,084). If you do not live in California, do a search on college grant money in your state by Googling “your state name + financial aid” (example: “Oregon + financial aid).
In California you must do two things to be considered for a Cal Grant, and requirements are similar in other states:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) between Oct. 1 and Mar. 2 (www.fafsa,ed.gov) — listing the schools for a Cal Grant FIRST.
- Make sure your high school has submitted your Cal Grant GPA verification. Verify this with your high school counselor.
The California Student Aid Commission encourages all students to apply for a Cal Grant, even if they think their parents make too much money (for income/asset limits, see http://www.csac.ca.gov/facts/2013-14_income_ceilings_new_apps_renewing_recips.pdf). It is possible that a family’s income picture can drastically change overnight — so it’s good to have the paperwork requirements in place if that happens.
See your counselor today for more information!