Getting a college degree is one of the most important investments you'll make, and critical for moving forward with your dreams. But with the increasingly high costs of tuition, figuring out how to pay for your education can be discouraging, and could quickly turn those dreams into a nightmare. Federal and California government programs can help.
The California Student Aid Commission offers a variety of state-funded grants and loans to Orange County and California students.
- Cal Grant A
Cal Grant A provides aid toward tuition and fees for undergraduate students at public and independent colleges, and some occupational and career colleges. Your coursework must be for at least two academic years. There is also a Cal Grant A award for students transferring from a California Community College to a four-year college. This grant requires a 3.0 GPA and residency in California.
- Cal Grant B
Cal Grant B assists low-income undergraduate students. The grant gives a living allowance and pays for books the first year. When renewed or awarded beyond the freshman year, the award also helps pay for tuition and fees. Requirements for this grant include a minimum GPA of 2.0 in high school, and residency in California.
- Cal Grant C
This grant is of definite interest to students in vocational, technical, and career-training programs. The award includes up to $576 for books, tools and equipment — and up to $2,592 more for tuition and fees if you’ll be attending a school other than a California Community College.
- California Chafee Grant Program
Targeted to students who are or were in foster care, this award grants up to $5,000 a year for career and technical training or college.
- Assumption Program of Loans for Education APLE
This loan program assists those who wish to become teachers, and who agree to teach in a low-ranking California public school for at least 4 years after graduation.
- Child Development Grant Program
This is a need-based grant for those pursuing a career in child care and development. To receive funding, students must sign a Service Commitment Agreement stating they will provide one year of full-time service in a licensed children’s center for each year they receive the grant.
- State Nursing Assumption Program of Loans for Education (SNAPLE)
This loan assumption program assists two groups: those pursuing a nursing degree and who will work in a California 24-hour state facility, and those pursuing a graduate degree in nursing who will serve as faculty in a nursing program at an accredited California college or university.
- California National Guard Education Assistance Award Program (CNG EAAP)
Financial aid for active members of the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia. Money awarded could be as much as that given in a Cal Grant A.
- Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program (LEPD)
The LEPD provides need-based educational grants to dependents and spouses of: California Highway Patrol officers, marshals, sheriffs, police officers, Department of Corrections and California Youth Authority employees, and permanent/full-time firefighters who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.