Q: I am a CASA for youth in extended foster care who wants to go to college in the fall. I know the deadline for the Cal Grant is coming up pretty soon. What is the deadline, what does he have to submit and what happens if he misses it?
A: The deadline for the Cal Grant is less than a week away, March 2nd. To apply for a Cal Grant, a student must submit two things by this deadline (1) a 2014-2015 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and (2) a certified Grade Point Average (GPA) to the California Student Aid Commission. Students who have earned a GED and therefore don’t have a grade point should submit your test score along with the GPA Verification Form.
Both the FAFSA and the GPA certification may be submitted electronically or through the mail. For a PDF of the FAFSA, follow this LINK. For a PDF of the grade point certification, follow this LINK. This year, March 2nd falls on a Sunday and the California Student Aid Commission has extended the deadline to Monday, March 3, 2014. All materials must be postmarked by that date.
It is extremely important for foster youth to submit these materials by the March 2nd deadline in California. Failure to complete them by the March 2nd deadline is one reason why less than 1 in 5 of foster youth who apply for financial aid receive a Cal Grant.
If the youth does not meet the March 2nd deadline, he will not be guaranteed to receive a Cal Grant, which covers fees up to $5,970 at CSUs, $12,192 at UCs and $9,223 toward tuition and fees at a private college. Up to $1,473 for books and living expenses is available for students attending community college. Instead, he will be placed in a competitive pool, where the odds of getting funding decrease to 1 in 13.
For more information, visit the California Student Aid Commission.