By Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media
(CBM) – The California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) is encouraging high school students to apply for $6 billion in financial aid, including grants.
CSAC officials say the number of high school seniors who have completed their FAFSA applications for the 2022-23 school year is down by 16 %. And students applying for California state grants are down nearly 19% as compared to totals from last year.
The deadline to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the CA Dream Act Application (CADAA) is March 2. California Community College students have until Sept. 2 to submit their applications.
Students who apply, if approved, can receive financial aid through the Cal Grant program, which is a “California-specific financial aid allocation that does not need to be paid back,” according to the California Student Aid Commission.
“The Cal Grant program typically covers tuition for financially needy students at CSU,” the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) website reads.
LAO’s website summarizes how Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget for the current fiscal year has impacted Cal Grant funding.
“The 2021‑22 budget also increased the Cal Grant access award (which is intended to cover nontuition expenses such as food and housing) to $6,000 for current and former foster youth, compared to $1,648 for most other low‑income students,” it reads.
Cal Grant provides aid to students in California who attend community colleges, CSUs, UCs, private non-profit schools and private for-profit schools.
The grants are separated into three options with varying levels of aid, depending on the type of school the student attends: Cal Grant A, Cal Grant B, and Cal Grant C.
Students can access the FAFSA at studentaid.gov where they can follow the instructions on how to fill out and submit their FAFSA application.
Students looking to complete their CADAA can do so at dream.csac.ca.gov through the California Student Aid Commission.
The California Student Aid Commission recommends signing up for a WebGrants 4 Students (WG4S) account to secure financial aid after completing FAFSA and CADAA forms.
While the deadline for most students to apply or update their application information is March 2, there is an exception.
“State law provides foster youth with expanded eligibility for Cal Grants, including by setting a higher age limit, a later application deadline, and a longer award duration,” LAO’s website reads.
For more information on Cal Grant or completing the FAFSA and CADAA, students can visit csac.ca.gov or speak with the financial aid officer at their school.
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