Byrd Scholarship

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships recognize exceptional high school students who show promise of continued academic excellence in college. They are renewable for up to four years of postsecondary study at any accredited U.S. college. The scholarship award amount is $1,500. Byrd Scholarship awards are $1,500 for the academic year. This program is federally funded and subject to annual funding review by Congress.

The process indicated below is specific to California.  If you are a resident of another state, please check with your state education agency.  

CSAC sends applications to public and private high schools each year in February.  Participating schools screen applications and may nominate up to two students. Deadlines may vary at each school, but all nominations must be postmarked to CSAC by May 4. CSAC reviews all nominations, ranks and selects participants and notifies the nominees of their status in June. This scholarship is merit-based so the FAFSA is not required.

Checks are disbursed by the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office directly to the student. Like all other merit-based awards, the Byrd Scholarship is treated as need-based aid if the student’s financial aid package includes any form of federal need-based aid or a Cal Grant.

Chafee Grant

The California Chafee Grant Program gives money to current or former foster youth to use for career and technical training, or college courses. The grant may be used to help with living expenses.

To qualify, the student must:

  • Be a current or former foster youth and not have reached age 22 as of July 1 of the award year
  • The court must have established dependency of student when they were between the ages of 16 and 19. The California Department of Social
  • Services will verify your foster youth eligibility status. An assigned social worker should submit a Foster Care Eligibility Form, on behalf of the student.
  • Have financial need. The school for which the student plans to or is attending must submit a Needs Analysis Report, on behalf of the student.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible career or technical school or college
  • Be in a program that is at least one year long
  • Be enrolled at least half-time
  • Comply with PLNU’s Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy

To apply, the student must submit the following two forms either via online or paper application:

  • Chafee Grant application online
  • Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

If the student prefers, they may print and submit a paper version of the Chafee Grant Application (paper version) and complete the paper FAFSA. The student can download the FAFSA at or call toll free 800-433-3243 to have one mailed to the student. (If the student does not have a Social Security number or are an undocumented student, contact CSAC for assistance.

The Chafee Grant may be renewed through the student’s 23rd birthday. To renew the Chafee Grant, the student needs to complete the FAFSA but does not need to submit another Chafee Grant application.

The Chafee Grant is federally and state funded and is subject to the availability of funds each year.

Child Development Grant

Each year outstanding college students who are pursuing child development permits at the teacher, site supervisor or program director level receive these grants to help with their college costs. Students at two-year colleges may receive $1,000 per academic year for up to two years; those attending four-year colleges may receive $2,000 per academic year for up to two years. The maximum benefit is $6,000.

In return, participants must work full time at an eligible California children’s center for one year for each year they receive grant funds. To be eligible, students must attend a California Community College or public or independent four-year college at least half time and take courses leading to a child development permit.

To apply, students must file a FAFSA and complete a Child Development Teacher and Supervisor Program application. The application deadline is June 1. Colleges must recommend applicants and may nominate as many as they wish. CSAC selects participants based on financial need and academic achievement and notifies all applicants of their status in August. This program is federally funded and subject to the availability of federal resources each year.

The Child Development Grant Program is a need-based grant designed to encourage students to enter the field of child care and development, in a licensed children’s center. Students who plan to enroll at least half-time in coursework leading to a Child Development Permit as teacher, master teacher, site supervisor, or program director are eligible to apply through PLNU. To receive funding, students must sign a Service Commitment Agreement stating that they will provide one year of full-time service in a licensed children’s center for each year they receive the grant.

Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents’ Grant

Grants are available for dependents and spouses of California law enforcement officers who were killed or totally (100%) disabled in the line of duty. Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents (LEPD) Grants are need-based and may be used to attend any California postsecondary school accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. Grants range from $100 to $11,259 a year, for up to four years. Students who receive an LEPD award may also receive a Cal Grant or any other grant or college fee waiver if they are eligible. Awards for students with Cal Grants will match the amount of their Cal Grant award.

Eligible law enforcement officers include peace officers (highway patrol, marshals, sheriffs, police officers), employees of the California Department of Corrections and the California Youth Authority, and permanent full-time firefighters employed by counties, cities, districts and other state political subdivisions.

To apply, students must file the FAFSA and an LEPD application (with applicable documents). Applications are available from CSAC or may be downloaded from CSAC's website. Applications are accepted throughout the school year.

National Guard Education Assistance Award Program

The California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNG EAAP) is a state-funded program designed to provide an educational incentive to improve skills, competencies, and abilities for up to 1,000 service members who remain active in the National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia. Participants can receive up to the amount of the Cal Grant A award for attending the University of California or the California State University, up to the Cal Grant B award for attending a community college, up to the Cal Grant A amount for a recipient attending a non-public institution, or up to the Cal Grant A award plus $500 for books and supplies for graduate studies.

Eligibility Requirements:
  • Is an active member of, and has served two (2) years in the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia;
  • Agrees to remain an active member in the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia throughout the participation period in the CNG EAAP;
  • Agrees to use the award to obtain a certificate, degree, or diploma that is currently not held;
  • Has been accepted or registered at, or enrolled in, a qualifying institution;
  • Agrees to maintain enrollment in at least three (3) academic units per semester, or the equivalent, at a qualifying institution;
  • Agrees to maintain at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA) in a qualifying institution; and
  • Is a resident of California for at least one year immediately preceding the date of determination. 
How to Apply:

Applicants must submit an application and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) prior to the application deadline date of January 22, 2010. Applications will be processed, verified, and awardees selected.