January 7, 2005

Cal Grant Means Free Money for College

Students Should Apply Now to Meet March 2 Deadline

SACRAMENTO - California’s Cal Grant program today launches its latest campaign to connect qualified high school seniors with as much as $8,300 in free money for college.

The money does not have to be repaid, but students must file applications before the March 2 deadline. To obtain a Cal Grant, students must meet certain financial requirements and have a minimum 2.0 grade point average (GPA).

“If you work hard in school and get good grades, the state will help pay your way through college or vocational school,” said Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission. “If you thought you couldn’t afford to go to college before, you may now with a Cal Grant.”

To apply for a Cal Grant there are two forms students must complete. The first is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, which can be obtained online at www.fafsa.ed.gov, or from high school counselors. This form can be submitted either online or by mail, but the online version is quicker and prevents mistakes.

The second form to fill out is the Cal Grant GPA Verification Form, also available from high school counselors. Students must fill out Section B of the verification form and then take it to a counselor for signature before mailing it in. Many schools submit GPAs for students, but it’s the student’s responsibility to ensure that the information reaches the California Student Aid Commission.

The California Student Aid Commission has helped California’s students fulfill their potential through a college education, or with vocational training, for 50 years. The Cal Grant program is the state’s merit- and need-based financial aid program for students and is administered by the California Student Aid Commission. Last year nearly a quarter of a million California students were served by Cal Grants. This included over 63,000 high school seniors and the state of California wants to award Cal Grants to even more students in 2005.

Help is available in completing each form. Many schools and community organizations provide evening or weekend financial aid workshops for students and their parents. At these workshops, students will receive all the assistance they need to complete the FAFSA. Financial aid professionals also participate in the workshops and provide additional information.

To find out more about financial aid workshops, just log on to www.californiacash forcollege.com or call toll-free 1-866-476-8787 for workshop locations and dates.

For more information on Cal Grants, visit www.calgrants.org or call toll-free 1-888-CA-GRANT, that’s 888-224-7268. For information on applying to colleges in California, visit www.californiacolleges.edu.

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