State Aid for Undergraduate Students

Need-based state grants is a kind of financial aid that does not need to be repaid. A Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) is required to apply and determine need. Eligibility is based on financial need and includes factors like income, family size, and school costs. You may need to complete additional forms or verification if awarded a grant. 

Learn about the different kinds of California state grants below:

Cal Grant

Cal Grant is a kind of financial aid that does not need to be paid back. To qualify for Cal Grant, you must:

  1. Be a California resident.
  2. Complete the FAFSA or CA Dream Act application.
  3. Attend a qualifying California college or university (USF is one of them).

Eligibility is based on financial need, GPA, and other factors.

There are three main types of Cal Grants — A, B and C. You are automatically considered for the one you qualify for based on your application, GPA, and the type of school on your application, so don't worry about trying to figure out which one to apply for.

Cal Grant A covers a portion on your tuition and fees. Cal Grant B provides a living allowance and tuition aid. Cal Grant C offers money for a vocational program.

Additional forms may be required after being awarded, and renewal of Cal Grant is contingent upon meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

California CHAFEE Grant for Foster Youth

The CHAFEE Grant provides up to $5,000 per year to help eligible current and former foster youth pay for college or career school in California. The grant is free money for school that does not need to be repaid. Students attending schools in other states may also qualify. 

To be eligible, you must: 

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA).
  • Complete the separate Chafee Grant application.
  • Be a current or former foster youth who was a ward of the court, living in foster care, between the ages of 16 and 18.
  • Not have reached their 26th birthday as of July 1st of the award year.
  • Be enrolled in an eligible vocational school or college courses at least half-time.
  • Be making satisfactory academic progress.

Golden State Teacher Grant

The Golden State Teacher Grant (GSTG) is a financial aid program in California that provides grants to eligible students committed to teaching in high-need subject areas after graduation. The grant provides up to $20,000 to students pursuing a teaching credential or undergraduate education degree at an eligible California college or university (including USF).

You must: 

  • Complete your program and obtain your credential within six years of starting the program
  • Commit to work at either a priority school or a California State Preschool Program (CSPP) for 4 years within 8 years of completing their program.