Cal Grant

Program Description

Cal Grants are state-funded, need-based, cash grants given to California college students to help pay for college expenses. 

A Cal Grant is money for college you don’t have to pay back. To qualify, you must apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) by the deadline and meet the eligibility and financial requirements as well as any minimum GPA requirements. Students at Southwestern College may receive either a Cal Grant A, B or C.  Initial eligibility is made by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) which establishes income, asset and GPA requirements annually.

Cal Grant A Access Award can be awarded at SWC for students who have certified their SWD eligibility on WebGrants.

Deadlines:

March 2nd

  • Priority Cal Grant Deadline for high school seniors and previous year high school graduates
  • All Cal Grants awarded
  • Entitlement & Competitive awards

September 2nd

  • NEW Cal Grant A & B deadline for students enrolled at a California Community College (CCC)
  • NEW Students receiving an award at a CCC may remain eligible to receive their award after they transfer to a UC or CSU
  • NEW Students transferring to a private institution may be considered for a Transfer Entitlement or Competitive Cal Grant
      Exception: Foster Youth (FY) who qualify for Cal Grant B are considered High School Entitlement applicants

Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award (E1)

Eligibility for a High School Entitlement Award:

  • Includes current high school seniors and last year's graduates
  • Must meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements
  • Must apply with FAFSA or CADAA by March 2nd
  • Minimum High School GPA must be submitted by March 2nd:
    Cal Grant A: 3.0
    Cal Grant B: 2.0
  • If no GPA, test scores from SAT, ACT, GED, TASC, & HiSET may be submitted if:
    Pass/Fail system
    Home-schooled

Click on the following link for additional information:
Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award

Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award (E2)

This grant is for students who plan to transfer directly from a California Community College to a 4-Year University that offers a bachelor degree in the academic year that they are applying for the award.

Deadline is March 2 and applicants must:

  • Submit a FAFSA or CA Dream Act Application
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.4.

Eligibility for a Transfer Entitlement Award:

  • There cannot be a gap in enrollment between attendance at the California Community college and the 4-Year University.
  • Students who are under the age of 28 by December 31 of the award year.
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements.
  • Students who graduated from a CA high school after June 30, 2000 and were California residents (or if you applied through the Dream Act application, living in California) at the time of high school graduation.

Click on the following link for additional information:
Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award

Community College Entitlement Requirements (E3)

 Eligibility for a Community College Entitlement grant:

  • Students attending a California Community College (CCC)
  • Apply with FAFSA or CADAA by September 2nd
  • Students who receive a Cal Grant CCC (E3) will be permitted to retain their remaining Cal Grant eligibility when transferring to a UC or CSU so long as they continue to meet income and academic requirements
  • Minimum High School GPA:
    Cal Grant A: 3.0
    Cal Grant B: 2.0
  • If no GPA, test scores from SAT, ACT, GED, TASC, & HiSET may be submitted if:
    Pass/Fail system
    Home-schooled

Minimum Community College (CC) GPA:
Cal Grant A: 2.4
Cal Grant B: 2.0

Minimum Re-established CC GPA:
Must complete at least 16 units at CCC with at least a 2.0 GPA.

Click on the following link for additional information:
Cal Grant Community College Entitlement Award

Cal Grant B Foster Youth Award for Current and Former Foster Youth

  • The Cal Grant B Foster Youth award allows students who are current and former foster youth to be eligible for increased Cal Grant eligibility. Foster youth have until their 26 birthday to apply. On July 1, 2018 California expanded the Cal Grant Program to allow students who are current and former foster youth to be eligible for increased Cal Grant eligibility.
  • Foster youth students may renew their Cal Grant B awards for the equivalent of eight years of full-time attendance in an undergraduate program.
  • Foster youth students have until their 26th birthday to apply for the Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award.
  • Foster youth students attending a California Community College can apply for a High School Entitlement award through September 2nd (rather than March 2nd).

Click here to apply for the Cal Grant B Foster Youth Award

To Apply

All students must file a FAFSA or CA Dream Act application (if you are a DACA student or a student without legal citizenship status ion the U.S.) and submit a GPA verification to CSAC by the deadline.  Students who have completed 16 degree applicable units will have their GPA automatically calculated and submitted to CSAC. Students attending a CA community college can now qualify for a CC Entitlement Cal Grant (E3) during the September 2nd award cycle if they have a completed application (FAFSA/CADAA) and a matched GPA received by 09/02/23.

Eligibility Requirements

Cal Grants are for students who are pursuing an undergraduate degree or vocational or career training, and do not have to be repaid. In addition to meeting the financial criteria and Cal Grant requirements, you must:

  • Submit the FAFSA or CADAA application and your verified Cal Grant GPA by the deadline
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen or meet AB540 eligibility criteria
  • Be a California resident for 1 year
  • Attend a qualifying California college
  • Not have a bachelor’s or professional degree
  • Have financial need at the college of your choice
  • Have family income and assets below the minimum levels
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll in a program leading to an undergraduate degree or certificate
  • Be enrolled or plan to enroll at least half time
  • Not owe a refund on any state or federal grant or be in default on a student loan
  • Not be incarcerated
  • Maintain the Satisfactory Academic Progress standards as established by the school. Recipients who do not meet the standards are ineligible for Cal Grant payment and will not use eligibility during the terms they are ineligible for payment.

Amounts

Cal Grant B – $1,648: You can use your $1,648 access award as a living allowance to help pay for books and other community college costs.

Cal Grant C – $1,094: A student must be enrolled in an occupational or technical program to qualify for the Cal Grant C. (e.g. automotive technician, court reporter, etc).  The amount offered can be used for books, tools, equipment, and other community college costs.

Students With Dependent Children
Cal Grant students with dependent children attending Southwestern College may be eligible for an access award of up to $6,000 for qualifying Cal Grant B recipients and up to $4,000 for eligible Cal Grant C recipients.

The Cal Grant A Access award (including CCC reserve students) yearly maximum amount $6000
The Cal Grant B Access award yearly maximum $6000
The Cal Grant C books & supplies award yearly maximum $4000

 More information about Student with Dependent Children click the following link:

Students With Dependent Children Frequently Asked Questions

Community College Grants

Student Success Completion Grant (SSCG)

The SSCG became effective in Fall 2018. It is awarded to CCC students who receive the Cal Grant and enrolled full-time. Student must enroll in 12 or more units, meet both college and federal SAP standards, and be exempt from nonresident tuition.

California Dream Act Service Incentive Grant

Cal Grant B Service Incentive Grants up to $4,500 per year (up to $2,250 per semester)
Eligible students must perform at least 150 hours per semester of community or volunteer service and attend a California public or independent institution
CSAC administers the program- for more information, visit the CSAC website

To be considered a student must:

  • Complete and successfully submit a CADAA application
  • Be enrolled at a Cal Grant eligible school
  • Have an active Cal Grant B Award for the corresponding academic year through a CADAA application
  • Sufficient financial need to qualify

Cal Grant GPA Verification

A GPA is required to be considered for a new Cal Grant award. Forms must be emailed or postmarked by the date below to be considered on time.

PRIORITY DEADLINES:

March 2nd, for the following students:
If you were not able to submit your GPA on time for this deadline, you can still submit a GPA using the GPA Verification Form and explaining the reason why in the Late Submission Appeals section no later than May 16th, 2023.
For Cal Grant C and Competitive Students, Late Submission Appeals must be submitted by March 22nd, 2023.

  • Recent High School Graduate
  • Community College Transfer Student
  • Cal Grant C
  • Competitive Student

September 5th, for the following students:

  • Community College Student (SWC students)
  • Foster Youth (Community College)

Renewal Cal Grant Student: no GPA submission required

Not sure if your GPA was submitted? Check your 2023-24 Cal Grant tab in Webgrants 4 Students 
GPA Verification Form should only be used by students whose school has not submitted a GPA on their behalf.  

Cal Grant Verification form

  Full Time: 12 + Units

Type
Cal Grant
With Dependents Annual No Dependents Annual With Certified
Dependents
Per Term
No Dependent
Per Term
A  $6000 $0 $3000 $0
B $6,000 $1,648 $3,000 $824
C $4,000 $1,094 $2,000 $547

Three-Quarter Time: 9 to 11.99 Units

Type
Cal Grant
With Dependents Annual No Dependents Annual With Certified
Dependents
Per Term
No Dependent
Per Term
A  $4,500 $0 $2,250 $0
B $4,500 $1,242 $2,250 $621
C $3,000 $820 $1,500 $410

Half Time: 6 to 8.99 Units

Type
Cal Grant
With Dependents Annual No Dependents Annual With Certified
Dependents
Per Term
No Dependent
Per Term
A  $3,000 $0 $1,500 $0
B $3,000 $824 $1,500 $412
C $2,000 $547 $1,000 $274

Less Than Half Time: <6 Units

Type
Cal Grant
Dependent or No Dependent
A Ineligible 
B Ineligible 
C Ineligible 

SWC CAL GRANT DISBURSEMENT SCHEDULE
​For disbursement dates, refer to the Disbursement Schedule.  All Cal Grant funds will be disbursed through the Southwestern College District's 3rd Party Service, BankMobile.  

Additional Considerations & Requirements When Receiving Cal Grant Award Funds:

For Cal Grant Award RENEWALS
• Students must complete the FAFSA Application or California Dream Act Application annually for CSAC to determine their renewal eligibility.
• Students must meet the annual income & asset ceilings as set by CSAC.
• Cal Grant B students who will be transferring to a four-year institution may want to ensure they keep at least 200% of their Cal Grant eligibility for when they transfer. Cal Grant B pays part or all of their tuition (depending on if the institution is public or non-public) at a four-year California school. If a Cal Grant B student has 200% or less remaining eligibility, they should consider taking a Leave of Absence to save that award. Leave of Absences are a maximum of two years.
• It is a student's responsibility to track their own remaining Cal Grant eligibility, and renewal is not guaranteed even if a student places their Cal Grant on a Leave of Absence (LOA). A student can do this online at WebGrants.

Additional Cal Grant Information:

Grade Level Certification

Southwestern College will certify grade levels for students who are awarded Cal Grant for the first time.  They are as follows:

  • Grade Level 1 (Freshman) Completed <30 units beginning the academic year
  • Grade Level 2 (Sophomore) Completed 30+ units beginning the academic year 

Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award Claiming Process

Confirmation of school attendance: Students have the capability to select the "Confirmation of School of Attendance" link in WG4S to confirm the school whey will attend during the 2023 - 2024 academic year.

High School Graduation Confirmation: Beginning the first day of the month of the student's graduation, students will have the capability to select the "Submit High School Graduation Confirmation" link in WG4S to confirm high school graduation.

For More Information

Visit the CSAC Website.

Use the WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) website, which allows you to manage your Cal Grant and/or Chafee account(s) online by letting you view updates, make school changes, make address changes, make corrections, and post leave of absence requests. It is important for you to understand that your WG4S account does not replace your School or FAFSA accounts. Each account must be monitored and managed independently.