Cal Grants Offer Money for School

If you’re a high school senior looking for money for animation or art school (or any college, for that matter), you might want to look into California’s Cal Grant program. The latest campaign has just launched to offer qualified students as much as $8,300 for college. Interested parties should apply now to meet the March 2 deadline.

The Cal Grant money does not have to be repaid, but applicants 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,” says Diana Fuentes-Michel, exec 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.”

There are two forms students must complete to apply for a Cal Grant. The first is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (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. The second form 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.

Help is available in completing each form. Many schools and community organizations provide evening or weekend financial aid workshops for students and their parents. To find out more about these workshops, go to www.californiacashforcollege.com or call toll-free 1-866-476-8787 for locations and dates.

Last year, nearly a quarter of a million California students were served by Cal Grants and the state of California wants to award grants to even more students in 2005. For more information on Cal Grants, visit www.calgrants.org or call toll-free 1-888-CA-GRANT (888-224-7268). For information on applying to colleges in California, go to www.californiacolleges.edu.