Cal Grant is a tuition-specific, state entitlement award, funded by California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). You must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, financial need, and be a resident of California.
The following are Cal Grant award types PLNU participates in:
- Cal Grant A Entitlement
- Cal Grant A Transfer Entitlement
- Cal Grant A Competitive
- Cal Grant B Entitlement
- Cal Grant B Transfer Entitlement
- Cal Grant B Competitive
CSAC notifies new Cal Grant recipients whether they have been awarded an Entitlement or Competitive Cal Grant. Before a Cal Grant award can be added to a student's Financial Aid Award Letter at PLNU, the Student Financial Services Office must review the data provided by the student and parents on the FAFSA to make sure that the student is financially eligible.
Applying for the Cal Grant
A student applies for a Cal Grant by submitting both a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a verified grade point average (GPA) on or before the statutory deadline. For most students, the deadline is March 2. Receipt of both the FAFSA record and the GPA, by CSAC, constitutes a complete Cal Grant application.
At PLNU, a high school senior or a student with 24 or less units of college credit, the GPA verification needs to be requested of and submitted by the student’s high school. For an applicant who is a college student with more than 24 units (36 quarter hours) of college credit, the GPA verification needs to be requested of and submitted by their current college/university which may be PLNU or the college from which the student is transferring from.
Test scores can be submitted in lieu of a GPA in certain circumstances. This would most likely apply to students that have been homeschooled. The acceptable tests are the General Educational Development Test (GED), the American College Test (ACT) and the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT I). CSAC does not accept the SAT II subject tests or the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE).
Renewal Cal Grants
Renewal Cal Grant recipients must requalify under the financial income ceilings each subsequent academic year. In addition, renewal Cal Grant recipients must maintain at least $1,500 of need (based on the FAFSA) for each subsequent academic year. Students may renew a Cal Grant award for up to four academic years (eight semesters). Submission of a verified GPA is not required to renew a Cal Grant. Students who received a Cal Grant at another institution and are transferring to PLNU will need to submit a school change with CSAC. This can be done at webgrants4students.org, completing a Form G-10 (Grant Record Change Form for Schools), or contacting CSAC at (888) 224-7268.
General Cal Grants Eligibility
To be eligible for and receive payment for any Cal Grant award, a student must meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen
- Be a California resident
- Attend a Cal Grant participating California college or university
- Demonstrate financial need at his or her college
- Have family income and assets below the ceilings
- Have met U.S. Selective Service requirements
- Be in a program leading to an undergraduate degree, certificate or first professional degree
- Not have a bachelor’s or professional degree before receiving a Cal Grant (except for extended Cal Grant A or B awards, teaching credential programs)
- Have a valid Social Security number
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Not owe a refund on any state or federal educational grant
- Not be in default on any student loan
- Not be incarcerated
Initial eligibility for a Cal Grant award is based on information from the student’s FAFSA.
California Residency for Cal Grant Eligibility
California residency for unmarried students who are not 18 years of age by the application deadline cycle for which they are applying, is based on the residency status of a parent or non-parent adult responsible for their direct care and control. To qualify as a non-parent adult, he or she must have had continuous direct care and control of the student for at least two years prior to the application cycle deadline for which they are applying. Unmarried students under 18 are legal California residents if:
- a parent is a legal California resident at the application deadline for which the student is applying, or
- the student has lived for two years with a responsible non-parent adult and that adult is a legal California resident at the application cycle deadline for which he/she is applying.
For example, students whose parents are living overseas are considered California residents if they are minors and have been living under the direct care and control of a California resident for at least two years as of the application cycle deadline for which they are applying or their parents have maintained their California residency during their absence from the state.
All married students, regardless of their age, and all unmarried students 18 or older must establish their own residency. If they will be 18 on or before the application cycle deadline for which they are applying, they must be a legal California resident at the application deadline for which they are applying. They also must be in the United States legally and be able to establish U.S. residency based on their status with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Cal Grant A
Cal Grant A benefits provide for tuition and fees at PLNU. Award amounts are determined through the state budget process and may change annually. There are three Cal Grant A awards: Entitlement, Transfer Entitlement and Competitive.
Cal Grant A Entitlement Award
Every graduating high school senior who has at least a 3.0 high school GPA, meets all the Cal Grant requirements, is a California resident at the time of graduation, and applies by March 2 either the year that he/she graduates or the following year is guaranteed a Cal Grant A Entitlement award.
Cal Grant A California Community College Transfer Entitlement Award
High school seniors who graduate after June 30, 2000, attend a California Community College, and then transfer to a qualifying baccalaureate degree-granting institution may be eligible for a California Community College Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A. Eligible students must have at least a 2.4 community college GPA (of at least 24 semester units, or the equivalent, of degree credit), meet the financial and eligibility requirements, be under age 24 at the time of transfer, and apply by March 2.
Cal Grant A Competitive Award
Other students who meet all the Cal Grant eligibility requirements and who have at least a 3.0 GPA may compete for a Cal Grant A Competitive award. Selection is based on a composite score that takes into consideration family income, parents’ educational level, GPA, time out of high school, high school performance standards and other factors, such as whether the student comes from a single-parent household or is a former foster youth.
Cal Grant B
Cal Grant B is for students with exceptionally high need (based on the FAFSA). The award for most first-year students covers living expenses, books, supplies and transportation, but not tuition and fees. When renewed or awarded beyond the freshman year, the grant covers tuition and fees. The tuition and fee award amounts are the same as those for Cal Grant A. Award amounts are determined through the state budget process and may change annually. A very limited number of new recipients may receive a Cal Grant B for tuition and fees, in addition to an access grant, for their first year. These students have exceptional financial need and have been determined to be among the most disadvantaged. Coursework must be for at least one academic year, and students must be enrolled at least half time. There are three Cal Grant B awards: Entitlement, Transfer Entitlement, and Competitive.
Cal Grant B Entitlement Award
Every graduating high school senior who has at least a 2.0 high school GPA, meets all Cal Grant requirements, is a California resident at the time of graduation, and applies by March 2 either the year that he/she graduates or the following year is guaranteed a Cal Grant B Entitlement award.
Cal Grant B California Community College Transfer Entitlement Award
High school seniors who graduate after June 30, 2000, attend a California Community College and then transfer to a qualifying baccalaureate-degree granting institution may be eligible for a California Community College Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant B. Eligible students must have at least a 2.4 community college GPA (of at least 24 semester units, or the equivalent, of degree credit), meet the financial and eligibility requirements, be under age 24 at the time of transfer and apply by March 2.
Cal Grant B Competitive Award
Other students who meet all the Cal Grant eligibility requirements and who have at least a 2.0 GPA may compete for a Cal Grant B Competitive award. Selection is based on a composite score that takes into consideration family income, parents’ educational level, GPA, time out of high school, high school performance standards and other factors, such as whether the student comes from a single-parent household or is a former foster youth.
California Dream Act
California Dream Act
The California Dream Act of 2011 allows undocumented and documented students who meet the requirements to apply for and receive CA state financial aid.
Who is Eligible?
- Students who have attended a CA high school for a minimum of three years
- Students who graduate from a CA high school or pass the CA High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) or get a General Equivalency Diploma (GED)
- Students who are enrolled at an accredited and qualified CA college or university
- Fill out an affidavit to legalize immigration status as soon as eligible
Students can apply online for a Cal Grant and other state aid using the CA Student Aid Commission's secure CA Dream Act Application at caldreamact.org. Apply for a Cal Grant by March 2.
Your CA Dream Act application information is not shared with federal databases. Dream Act student and parent information is protected by the same privacy and information security laws and safeguards as all other Cal Grant Applicants.
Most of this information is extracted from the most current California Grant Manual (last published September 2004). For more information regarding California State aid and for income and asset ceilings, please visit the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) website at csac.ca.gov or calgrants.org. CSAC administers the Cal Grant and other financial aid programs. Each program has specific eligibility requirements, award amounts, and selection requirements.
Federal and State Grants
Federal and State Grants
The Federal Pell Grant assists undergraduate students who have high financial need. Award amounts are based on the student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) and enrollment status.
Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) helps students to pay tuition and mandatory fees. In addition, Voc Rehab can sometimes be used to help pay for books. Award amounts are based on information provided by the student to the Student Financial Services (SFS) Office and must be verified by the issuing agency. If the student has filed a FAFSA, Voc Rehab is treated as need-based aid. This means that if the student is receiving other federal, state or institutional need-based aid, Voc Rehab may cause other aid to be reduced or cancelled to prevent the student from being funded in excess of demonstrated financial need.