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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 B or C.  Initial eligibility is made by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) which establishes income, asset and GPA requirements annually.


The deadline date for high school students to apply for entitlement grants and for university transfer students to apply for transfer entitlement grants is March 2nd.

Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award

Who is considered for a High School Entitlement Award?

  • For current high school seniors and recent high school graduates
  • Students who meet the general Cal Grant eligibility requirements

Click on the following link:


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.  Community college students wishing to apply for a competitive grant also have a second filing deadline of September 2nd. Follow this link to access the 2020-21 Cal Grant Verification Form.

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
• have registered with the U.S. Selective Service, if required to do so
• 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.


Cal Grant B – $1,656: You can use your $1,656 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 $6,008 for qualifying Cal Grant B recipients and up to $4,000 for eligible Cal Grant C recipients.
More information about Student with Dependent Children click the following link:


Cal Grant GPA Verification

If you are a California resident or eligible AB540 student and did not receive a Cal Grant in previous years, you must submit a 2020/2021 FAFSA or CA Dream application and a completed GPA Verification Form to California Student Aid Commission by March 2, 2020. Follow the instructions below to determine which school verifies your GPA on the 2020/2021 Verification Form.

  • If you earned less than 16 college semester units prior to Spring 2020, then you must submit the GPA Verification Form to your high school for verification. Check with your high school for their deadlines to submit the form.
  • If you earned 16 or more college semester units, including at least 1 unit at SWC prior to Spring 2020 and have submitted your high school graduation date as well as all of your official transcripts, then SWC will automatically send your cumulative GPA to the California Student Aid Commission electronically. You do not need to submit a GPA Verification Form.
  • If you have completed 16 units but DO NOT have your high school graduation date on file with SWC or have not submitted all of your official transcripts and had them evaluated, then you must manually complete a GPA Verification Form with the Financial Aid Office.
  • If you completed your high school education with a GED, a copy of your certificate must be submitted along with the GPA Verification form and mailed to the Student Aid Commission.

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 2020/2021 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 at https://www.csac.ca.gov/cal-grants

Follow this link to access 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.