California: Grants & Scholarships

If you’re attending college in the state of California, you’ll find an abundance of options, from outstanding state and private universities to smaller community colleges. If you’re struggling with the prospect of paying for your education, it’s important to know about state programs that are available to help you do just that.

The state of California has its own deadline for state aid.

California  March 2, 2020 – This deadline applies to any California financial aid program.

Cal Grants

Cal Grant programs provide funds for students attending qualifying educational institutions in California, including the University of California, California State University, and California Community Colleges. There are several types of Cal Grants, but a single application process applies to all. Eligibility is based on the student’s FAFSA® or California Dream Act Application, GPA, and choice of college. You must be a California resident, demonstrate financial need, and plan to enroll in college at least half-time.

California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth

This grant provides up to $5,000 per year for students attending college or pursuing a career and technical training. You can use the grant for any expenses, including rent, transportation, or childcare, while you’re in college. To qualify, you must have been in foster care for at least one day between the ages of 16 and 18 and demonstrate financial need.

Middle-Class Scholarship

This scholarship helps students with family incomes and assets up to $171,000. The Middle-Class Scholarship is available for both the University of California and California State University. Scholarship recipients will get a sum between 10 and 40 percent of the system-wide tuition and fees at these locations. You can receive this award for up to four years.

California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program

Active members of the California National Guard, Naval Militia, or State Military Reserve who have served for at least two years can apply for the California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program. Applicants must agree to remain active members for the duration of the award program and maintain a college enrollment of at least three academic units each semester. Award amounts vary and are based on the sums available through the Cal Grant program.

Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program

Dependents and spouses of qualifying law enforcement personnel who were killed or completely disabled in the line of duty may apply for this grant program. Dependents of the following qualifying professionals may be eligible:

  • California peace officers
  • Department of Corrections and California Youth Authority employees
  • Permanent or full-time firefighters

Award amounts are based on Cal Grant award ranges for that academic year. These grants are available for up to four years.

John R. Justice Program

This program provides student loan repayment assistance for public defenders and prosecutors. The State of California is not currently accepting new applications for the John R. Justice Program. If you’re pursuing a career in law, you may want to keep an eye on this program in case applications open again in the future.

There are several options for state scholarships and grants that can meet your needs and ease the burden of funding your college education in California. Take the time to explore them all.