February 11, 2005

Cal Grant Deadline

Education’s purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.

Malcolm Forbes

Once again, tens of thousands of California students will be offered an opportunity to achieve the goal of attaining a higher education. The Cal Grant program guarantees that eligible applicants will receive “free money” to attend a state university or college.

Students are evaluated for eligibility through both academic merit and exhibited financial need. A high school senior who meets the financial requirements and earns a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) or higher is entitled to a Cal Grant B, which includes money for tuition and a living stipend.

Applicants who have achieved a 3.0 GPA and whose assets and income are below the financial ceiling can be awarded a Cal Grant A, which covers the full cost of tuition at a UC or CSU campus, or up to $8,000 at a private or independent college.

This program is fully funded to provide financial support for all students who meet the academic and financial requirements. Yet, each year, many fail to utilize the money that is waiting for them. Last year, thousands of qualified students failed to receive an award because they simply did not fill out the necessary applications. As we move forward during another difficult budget year in California, unclaimed funds are in danger of being redirected from needy students and earmarked for non-educational purposes.

Applicants must complete two crucial forms: a GPA verification form and a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Students must submit both forms no later than March 2, 2005. You may obtain an application at your local high school, by calling the toll-free number for the Student Aid Commission (1-888-CA-GRANT), or by accessing this link: www.fafsa.ed.gov.

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