Confuse about cal/pell grants

<p>Hey guys,</p>

<p>I am really confuse on the process of cal and pell grants. I've heard that cal grant is based on GPA and pell grants more so on financial need. I am going to USC next year as an undergraduate and i was wondering am i suppose to recieve the money directly or is the money given to the school to cover part of my tuition? Thanks</p>

<p>I think Cal Grants are based on family income and having gone to a California high school.</p>

<p>The money would go to the school.</p>

<p>There is some talk about eliminating Cal Grants for private schools, but USC has said that they will cover the loss for its students if that happens.</p>

<p>There is a GPA component to Cal Grant A as well as being under the income and asset ceilings, but if you were accepted to USC you have likely exceeded the required 3.0 GPA. You can check your Cal Grant status here <a href="https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/logon.asp%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://mygrantinfo.csac.ca.gov/logon.asp&lt;/a> Current Cal Grant ceilings: <a href="http://www.csac.ca.gov/facts/2010-11IncomeCeilings.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.csac.ca.gov/facts/2010-11IncomeCeilings.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Cal Grant is sent directly to your school.</p>

<p>:)</p>

<p>thanks for the additional info about the 3.0 GPA component for Cal Grant A. Is that also needed for Cal Grant B?</p>

<p>(Now I know why UC's have that 3.0 GPA threshold. They want to make sure that their low income resident students will get Cal Grant A.)</p>

<p>Pell grants also are paid directly to the school. Once your grant aid has covered your billable expenses (tuition/fees/R&B), any excess is refunded to the student to cover the rest of the cost of attendance (books/transportation/personal expenses). This occurs either right before or shortly after the beginning of each semester, depending on the school's policy.</p>

<p>As far as I can tell, there is no GPA requirement for Cal Grant B (other than I assume you would have to graduate from high school and be accepted to a college, which implies something like a 2.0...) There also is a version of A that does not have a GPA component, I think it is for the kids who also qualify for B... but don't quote me on that.</p>

<p>The official Cal Grant info is SO confusing, I sometimes wonder if they make it confusing on purpose... Here's the page Grants</a> for College Students, College Grants, Grants for School California: Cal Grant awards . There was a poster last year who actually understood all the Cal Grants, the qualifications, and all the possible the combos, be he hasn't been around for a while! It was Arayrob, and here is a sample post <a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/695674-cal-grant-pell-grant.html#post1062350501%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/financial-aid-scholarships/695674-cal-grant-pell-grant.html#post1062350501&lt;/a> . A search of his posts makes it more clear to me than the official website!</p>

<p>^^^^</p>

<p>Right...very confusing.</p>

<p>I know I'm not going to say this right, but there were two UC students comparing packages from two diff UC schools. Both had 0 EFCs. But one ended up with a somewhat better package. One got Cal Grant B and the other got Cal Grant A. One said that the FA office did it that way because by giving her that particular Cal Grant that can only be used for housing (I think...mixed up in my head), then she'd get the full Blue and Gold, too for tuition. Or something like that. </p>

<p>Anyway, the point was that one UC FA office figured out a way to "game the system a bit" (in a legal and fair way) to give better free aid. (I don't mean "game the system" in a bad way).</p>

<p>
[quote]
A minimum 3.00 high school GPA, or minimum 2.40 college GPA is required for Cal Grant A; a minimum 2.00 GPA is required for Cal Grant B.

[/quote]
</p>

<p><a href="http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/G-20_2010-11_E1_Disqualification_FactSheet.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/G-20_2010-11_E1_Disqualification_FactSheet.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>It's really not too terribly confusing if you go to both websites and look at everything. The only real confusing part is knowing there's two websites. The calgrants.org website really only gives very basic overview information, but all the detailed information is over at the csac.ca.gov website as long as you poke around pretty much everywhere on it.</p>

<p>I think the confusing part is when one UC will give Cal grant A, and the other will give Cal Grant B, and by doing so, one child ends up with better aid...even though both are EFC 0.</p>

<p>^ Kender, I had it all straight in my head as "For A you need 3.0 and for B you need 2.0...." also, but then I read:
[quote]
**Cal Grant A Entitlement awards **can be used for tuition and fees at public and private colleges as well as some private career colleges. At CSU and UC schools, this Cal Grant covers systemwide fees up to $4,026 and $7,788, respectively. If you are attending a private college, it pays up to $9,708 toward tuition and fees. To get this Cal Grant, you need to be working toward a two-year or four-year degree.

[/quote]
and
[quote]
Cal Grant A and B Competitive Awards are for students who aren't eligible for the Entitlement awards. The main difference is that these awards are not guaranteed.</p>

<p>**Cal Grant A Competitive Awards **are for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low-and middle-income families. These awards help pay tuition and fees at qualifying schools with academic programs that are at least two years in length.

[/quote]
Grants</a> for College Students, College Grants, Grants for School California: Cal Grant awards</p>

<p>Which suggests there are TWO types of Cal Grant A - one that needs a 3.0 (competetive) and one that doesn't specify (entitlement). My kiddo has a Cal Grant, but I have NO idea if it is an entitlement award or a competetive (I think it is a competetive award)! Some day, if I have a few dozen hours to spare, I am going to study the Cal Grant info until the finally understand it. Then the next day they will cancel the whole program...</p>

<p>mom2collegekids:
But if a student qualifies for both (and would prefer one over the other) then they can request a program change if they are a new Cal Grant recipient and wish to have one over the other. It's not difficult at all and the school will have to honor your decision and adjust the financial aid offer accordingly.</p>

<p>Therefore, even if you have two students both with 0 EFCs (and both qualified for both Cal Grant A and B), but one received Cal Grant A and the other received Cal Grant B, they can have equal packages in terms of Cal Grant. The student just needs to be proactive and submit the change of program request before money is dispersed to the school.</p>

<p>I'm sincerely sorry that I cannot find what's so confusing about that part of it ):. It's a little paperwork heavy and does require knowing that this is an option, but that availability of that option is noted when a student receives notice of the award. Both in the physical paperwork and on the website that is logged into to view the status of the award. So really, there are no excuses for recipients not being aware of the option.</p>

<p>alamemom:
Not just suggests, there ARE two types of Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B :). Entitlement is guaranteed, but Competitive is limited. You still need to have the GPA for both of them regardless whether the award is Entitlement or Competitive, though. That is why there is the GPA verification that must be submitted to receive either award in the first place.</p>

<p>The site states that to qualify for any Cal Grant you must meet the minimum GPA requirement.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Cal Grant A and B Competitive Awards are for students who aren't eligible for the Entitlement awards. The main difference is that these awards are not guaranteed.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Grants</a> for College Students, College Grants, Grants for School California: Cal Grant awards</p>

<p>
[quote]
Cal Grant Entitlement Awards are guaranteed for every high school graduate who has at least a 2.0 GPA, meets the Cal Grant requirements (including financial need) and applies by March 2 of his or her senior year or the year following graduation. The guarantee extends to high school seniors who attend a California Community College and meet the requirements when they’re ready to transfer to a four-year college.</p>

<p>Students who aren’t high school seniors or recent graduates can compete for Cal Grant Competitive Awards. These awards aren’t guaranteed and only a limited number are available each year—half are set aside for students who apply by the March 2 deadline, and the other half are for California Community College students who meet the September 2 application deadline.

[/quote]
</p>

<p><a href="http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/calgrantsarefreemoney.pdf%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.csac.ca.gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/calgrantsarefreemoney.pdf&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Put simply: Entitlement awards go to those who apply for them and meet specific qualifications (ie, graduating senior, graduated within one year, JC transfer, etc). Competitive go to those who graduated from high school more than a year ago. But GPA minimums still apply regardless of Entitlement or Competitive.</p>

<p>So your child is more than likely an Entitlement receiver like I am ;)</p>

<p>Definitely read through all the information when you get a chance, it's like a treasure hunt to gather all the information :D.</p>

<p>*If you are attending a private college, it pays up to $9,708 toward tuition and fees. *</p>

<p>This is what might be either going away or be reduced in future years.</p>

<p>But if a student qualifies for both (and would prefer one over the other) then they can request a program change if they are a new Cal Grant recipient and wish to have one over the other. It's not difficult at all and the school will have to honor your decision and adjust the financial aid offer accordingly.</p>

<p>I understand that. But a student would need to be savvy enough to ask for such a change. How many would know to ask? Few.</p>

<p>They're also talking about getting rid of Competitive. There's been a whole hoopla about it on my campus and lots of requests for recipients of Cal Grant to give statements about what Cal Grant has done for them. My only complaint is the bulk of the people giving statements are Entitlement receivers. The Competitive receivers need to be the ones speaking up louder than Entitlement =/</p>

<p>As for being savvy enough to request a change, like I said, it gives you the tools to do so when you're given the award ):. The information is all right there, you don't have to ask for that part of it. You just have to submit the form. You do have to be proactive, though, in determining which one is of greater benefit to you and in submitting the request for the change.</p>

<p>Then again, I've seen quite a few asking on here about "what does XXX mean" and it's the information about changing your Cal Grant program. So maybe you mean that the required savvy to know to do this (from the very up front given information on how to do so when the award is received) more extends to comprehending what the information says? Or are we saying just the required savvy to even know to read all the information they were sent? (Note: if this sounds snarky, it's not meant to be. I'm just thinking out loud trying to understand what's confusing or what a student may not understand :))</p>

<p>The latter seems to be one of the biggest issues I've noticed is some just not reading everything they have available. I know the information is really spread out on the two Cal Grant websites, however it is very direct about the program change request when you look at your award status page (as long as it is a new award, of course).</p>

<p>Blah, or maybe I'm just biased that I don't find that extra step confusing since I saw the option to do so on my Cal Grants access page for several months.</p>

<p>Kender...</p>

<p>Promise me you will answer ALL the Cal Grant questions from now on!!! :) :) :)</p>