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Cal Grants Overview Presented by the California Student Aid Commission

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1 Cal Grants Overview Presented by the California Student Aid Commission
High School Counselors’ Workshop Year Presented by the California Student Aid Commission

2 Agenda FAFSA Bridge Basic Cal Grant Eligibility - Cal Grants A, B and C High School Entitlement Awards Cal Grant Renewal Eligibility AB 131 Dream Act Student Notifications WebGrants GPA Calculation and Best Practices (File Early) Non-SSN GPA Upload WebGrants for Students Cash For College Program Read agenda

3 FAFSA Bridge Linking federal & state financial assistance
Selecting the optional feature after submitting the FAFSA Provide additional information that can affect state assistance delivery including Releasing Cal Grant GPA (participating high schools); applying for Chafee Grant, Receiving program information—APLE, National Guard The United States Department of Education (USED) has added a processing enhancement to the FAFSA to allow states a FAFSA applicant state’s website to immediately answer additional questions for the state financial aid programs. For Cal Grants this FAFSA Bridge means we will be able explain the GPA requirement to the many thousands of applicants who have previously been aware of application requirements and filing deadlines. The Commission will also be able to target candidates for our other financial aid programs.

4 FAFSA Bridge Allows students to transfer information from the FAFSA to a state application Note: Option is only offered on the confirmation page That link looks awfully small! CSAC has asked the USED to try and make it more prominent.

5 FAFSA Bridge Questions
Which college will you most likely attend in Fall 2012? Cal Grant Are you, or were you, in a foster care placement, under court dependency/wardship at any time, between the ages of 16-18? Chafee Grant Do you have or plan to obtain a K-12 teaching credential? APLE Do you intend to teach or to supervise in a licensed children’s center? Child Development Are you an active member of the California National Guard? National Guard Educational Assistance Program These additional questions allow us to make faster and more accurate award determinations and gather information to assist in awarding funds in other state programs.

6 FAFSA Bridge- GPA Release
Phase II FAFSA Bridge- GPA Release Do you authorize your school to release your high school GPA? Student consents to GPA release CSAC collects a GPA release for participating high schools; sends list of students to each school School downloads list and uploads GPA to WebGrants As part of the new FAFSA Bridge capability, students may be asked to release their high school GPA to the Commission if a California high school is listed and that school has decided to “Opt-in” to the High School GPA release program. Many high schools require a release before sending a GPA.

7 Basic Cal Grant Eligibility
Federal Requirements Additional Cal Grant Requirements U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen California Resident Meet Selective Service requirements Attend an eligible California school at least half-time Have a Social Security number Be enrolled at least half-time Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress High School GPA required (Entitlement) Not owe a grant repayment or be in default on a student loan Not be incarcerated Review text on slide In general, Cal grant eligibility is the same as Federal Aid eligibility but there are also some differences. For example, a Cal Grant recipient must be a California resident and plan to attend a CA college or university. HS seniors and recent high school graduates are generally classified as Entitlement Students (E1) FASFA must be filed by March 2nd High School GPA required and must be submitted my March 2. There are also competitive awards that we will discuss later. Dependent students whose parents are in registered domestic partnerships should go to Not have earned a BA/BS degree Dependent students whose parents are in registered domestic partnerships should go to

8 WWW.CSAC.CA.GOV On the CSAC home page you can find:
Cal Grant GPA Forms and information Cal Grant FAQs Income and Asset Ceilings Eligible Cal Grant College Locator

9 Cal Grant A Additional Eligibility Criteria:
Meet income & asset ceiling (demonstrate financial need) 3.00 minimum high school GPA Pursuing AA and BA programs only Annual award amounts may be: Used for tuition and/or fees only Held in reserve while attending community college Cal Grant A has been around since 1955; it used to be called “California State Scholarship” Academic requirement: student must have a B (3.00) GPA To receive this Cal Grant, the student must be working toward a two-year or four-year degree. Annual Entitlement awards can be used for tuition and/or fees at California public and private colleges as well as some private career colleges. At CSU and UC schools, this Cal Grant covers system-wide fees up to $5,472 and $12,192 respectively. If you are attending a private California college, it pays up to $9,708 toward tuition and fees. Students attending a California community college do not receive payment, but the award is kept on reserve. Note that students can apply to keep the grant on reserve for 3 years. 2 years of CC reserve is automatic but must apply for extension. Please see references for the Cal Grant Ceilings, etc. 9 CSU UC Private $ 5,472/yr $ 12,192/yr $ 9,708/yr

10 Cal Grant B Very low income students who: 2.00 GPA minimum
Meet the income and asset ceilings 2.00 GPA minimum AA, BA/BS and Certificate programs Annual Awards $1551 stipend first year Fees/Tuition plus $1551 Available as Entitlement & Competitive Awards

11 Cal Grant Income and Asset Ceilings
For New Applicants – For Renewal Ceilings go to: Good for Degree and certificate programs. Cal Grant B Entitlement awards provide low-income students with a living allowance and assistance with tuition and fees. Most first-year students receive an allowance of up to $1,551 for books and living expenses. After the freshman year, Cal Grant B also helps pay tuition and/or fees in the same amount as a Cal Grant A. For a Cal Grant B, your coursework must be for at least one academic year. Cal Grant B Competitive Awards are for students with a minimum 2.00 GPA who are from disadvantaged and low-income families. These awards can be used for tuition, fees and access costs ( such as books and supplies) at qualifying California schools whose programs are at least one year in length. These costs include living expenses, transportation, supplies and books. If the student receives a Cal Grant B Competitive Award it can only be used for access costs in the first year. Beginning with the second year, one can use a Cal Grant B Competitive Award to help pay tuition and/or fees at California public or private four-year colleges or other qualifying schools.

12 Cal Grant C Low and Middle income students who:
Enroll in vocational courses of study AA and Certificate programs only Can be used for any school expenses including tuition and fees Eligibility determined only after application is given Cal Grant A and B consideration Read slide and add At the CC students receive a very modest $530 books and supply payment. At non-CCs, a $2,592 tuition payment is made.

13 High School Entitlement Awards
Recent high school graduates or equivalent (GED, CHSPE) 2012/13 AY: graduated on or after July 1, 2010 High school GPA required Meet minimum GPA and eligibility requirements Potentially unlimited number of awards will be the 12th year of this program and the number of awards have been increasing every year. CHSPE test meets = HS graduation requirement but test results cannot be used to meet Cal Grant academic qualifier GED = meets HS graduation requirements and GED test results can be used to meet Cal Grant academic qualifier Entitlement participation requires high school graduation. Note that CAHSEE must be passed, if required. SAT or ACT meet the academic qualifier requirement.

14 High School Entitlement Awards
Make sure graduating seniors include their high school on the FAFSA CSAC can then match between GPA and FAFSA information CSAC will be able to report to schools on missing GPAs and missing FAFSAs The addition of the student’s high school information on the FAFSA will allow the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) to better match FAFSAs and GPAs. CSAC as several reposts in WebGrants to provide students opportunities to resolve missing data; for example, GPA by High School. CSAC will be doing GPA calculations webinars in November and December so watch for announcements or information on the CSAC website.

15 Cal Grant High School Entitlement
Requires High School Graduation Students can confirm on-line using WebGrants for Students Schools can assist to provide post-graduation confirmation of HS graduation Students needing to mail use the High School Graduation Confirmation form, HS transcripts or other authoritative documents Entitlement program will be in its 12th year for the award year. WGS- WebGrants for Students and Paper HS Graduation confirmation form (G-8) can be downloaded, if needed. Applicants should expect to communicate electronically with the Student Aid Commission. CSAC will use provided on FAFSA. Students without will receive a hard-copy letter. However, we encourage to students set up g-mail accounts because will increase the effectiveness of all communication. Last minute mailings are best sent with Certificate of Mailing from the Post Office. The cost is about $1.15.

16 Cal Grant Renewal Eligibility
SB 70 – Renewal eligibility changes Previously, to renew a Cal Grant, students had to only show financial need Now, students need to demonstrate the same financial need as new participants and meet income and asset ceilings. Resulted in 14,000 fewer renewals Before SB 70, the only financial requirement to renew a Cal Grant award was for the student to have at least $100 in financial need. Now, students need to show the same financial need that new participants must demonstrate and also meet income and asset ceilings.

17 AB 131 Dream Act Allows students who meet AB 540 criteria to receive Cal Grants Signed into law in October, 2011 Cal Grants for the school year For entitlement candidates only Must meet all other Cal Grant requirements On-line application will be opened January to gather FAFSA like information The provisions of Assembly Bill 131 (AB 131) will allow certain non-resident students, including undocumented students, to receive Entitlement Cal Grant awards if they meet all other Cal Grant eligibility criteria. AB 131 Cal Grant participants will have to meet the same eligibility criteria as have been in place for AB For all of the following, AB 131 students must: have attended a California high school for a minimum of three years graduate from a California high school or pass the CHSPE or get a GED fill out an affidavit affirming that the student will apply for US residency as soon as possible. meet all other Cal Grant Entitlement or Transfer Entitlement eligibility criteria.

18 Mark these addresses as Safe
Student Notification Awardees who submit a FAFSA & GPA will receive a California Aid Report (CAR) via E-CAR Indicates Cal Grant eligibility Sent as early as January Letter sent if no address is available Applicants should access WebGrants for Students Counselor Tip: Download “School of Origin” report for a list of awarded students from your school Students need to watch for from CSAC. will “sent” from or Students should mark these as safe. Student account allows them to look at their CAL Grant status. to students from CSAC will come from these addresses: Mark these addresses as Safe

19 Student Notifications
delivery: Provides grant type and estimated amount for up to 3 CA schools listed on the FAFSA Communication with CSAC is emphasized Student will be sent an asking them to check (WebGrants) WGS for their Cal Grant award status. Student can check anytime. Read Slide: The notification will include: Grant type Estimated award for up to 3 California schools listed on the FAFSA

20 WebGrants for Schools Contact: CSAC Technology Help Desk
(888) or Download WebGrants access request forms at Look for “High Schools” on the “Schools” tab WebGrants Home Page https://webgrants.csac.ca.gov WebGrants for Students CSAC Technology Help Desk information for schools only. Please do not give these contact addresses to students!!!!!

21 More secure than US Mail – Results shown in real time
WebGrants for Schools https://webgrants.csac.ca.gov Upload GPA by batch or individual records More secure than US Mail – Results shown in real time Built-in edits to catch errors (e.g. SSN typos) Confirmation of receipt of records Report Access: GPA Summary Report School of Origin Report HS Graduation Confirmation Report FAFSA, No GPA Report Batch upload is a text document in the proper GPA record layout WebGrants has built-in edits to catch things like incorrect GPA’s (over 4.00 or less than three characters), incorrect SSN’s (SSN’s starting with an 8 or 9, for example) Confirmation of GPA submissions is helpful for us to track a file submission problem because of time/date stamp and helps during a late GPA appeal from school GPA Summary report is a cumulative report so it grows as more GPA’s are successfully submitted by the school School of Origin report is available starting in April and lists all students by name that were offered a Cal Grant Award from your school WebGrants is a secure website (encrypted) and student’s personal data (i.e. SSN) is not as easily accessible like a paper form could be.

22 Cal Grant GPA Calculation
High School GPA calculation is the same as prior years – sophomore and junior grades only for seniors. Remember to exclude P.E and R.O.T.C To calculate a GPA, go to “Schools” tab, “High School” or and look for “Cal Grant GPA Calculation Information” Call School Support Line (888) Look for webinars in Nov., Dec., Jan. and Feb. Webinar link is on the “Schools” tab, “High School” or The definition of “remedial course” is a course that does count towards the students graduation (as determined by the high school or school district). CSAC does not determine which courses are remedial because there are far too many courses within each school with various curriculum differences.“ Those students who have completed Advanced Placement or Honors coursework may have GPA’s that are higher than a 4.00 because of the college credit….but those GPA’s must be re-calculated based on the 4.00 scale because state law requires a maximum 4.00 scale. Accelerated Juniors GPA can include Sophomore year, summer following sophomore and all grades completed in the junior year at the time of GPA certification For second chance students, high school counselors can expect students to ask for senior grades since students will show that they have graduated and submit the GPA including senior grades. Although many high schools are using GPA above 4.0 there is no additional weight given to these honors courses for the Cal Grant GPA.

23 Academic Qualifiers & Submissions
Academic Qualifier Types: High school GPA Test Scores SAT Reasoning Test, ACT or GED* *Test score can be used if the student does not have a GPA, has coursework that cannot be converted to a 4.00 GPA, or attended a non-accredited high school SAT Reasoning test is acceptable if no GPA is available. SAT subject tests are not accepted

24 Upload by batch file (.txt) Submit one-by-one (Add GPAs screen)
Submitting GPAs Schools: Use WebGrants Upload by batch file (.txt) Submit one-by-one (Add GPAs screen) Student Initiated GPA Submission: On-line GPA Release with FAFSA Bridge Use GPA Verification form Download, complete demographic information, print. Give to high school

25 Academic Qualifiers & Submissions
Questions? Electronic GPA Upload Questions? Tabitha Frost (916) School Support Branch (888) A high school GPA is calculated on a 4.00 scale to two decimal places (between 0.00 and 4.00). Do not use a weighted scale. Convert any grades with extra weighting for honors and advanced placement classes to a 4.00 scale before calculating the GPA. GPAs calculated beyond a 4.00 scale will not be accepted. For students who have not yet graduated high school, calculate the GPA using all academic course work for the sophomore year, the summer following the sophomore year, the junior year, and the summer following the junior year. The high school GPA excludes physical education (PE), Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and remedial courses. Remedial work is defined as any course that is not counted toward high school graduation. Failing grades must be included in the GPA calculation unless the course has been retaken. GPAs for “accelerated” high school juniors graduating in spring 2011 should be calculated using academic course work earned during the student’s sophomore year and the summer following the sophomore year, as well as all course work completed in the junior year by the time of certification. For students who are out of high school but have not earned sufficient college level units to allow calculation of a college GPA, the GPA must be calculated from high school course work earned from the student’s sophomore year onward, regardless of whether the student graduated. Competitive Cal Grant awards can be made to students who have not graduated high school.

26 Don’t Wait! GPA-Best Practices Upload GPAs now!
Establish a school WebGrants account. Read the WebGrants User Guides on the Help Screen Add GPAs individually (by student) or by batch using a GPA data file in .txt format Use WebGrants reports to see the status of your submitted GPA records Remember, you can begin to submit now! So, if you are submitting GPAs for your Seniors, you already have their grades needed to calculate their GPA by the previous June if they did not take any Summer courses (i.e. don’t wait until the last minute to calculate GPAs). Cannot electronically upload GPAs without access to WebGrants and you also cannot retrieve the reports that give information on the status of your student’s GPAs either. There are a lot of resource materials available in WebGrants to help you use all of the functions of WebGrants to their fullest potential. Some schools will use the Add GPA’s screen for large batches of GPAs too, and that’s OK. It is still an electronic submission of the GPAs so they will be processed much faster than using the paper GPA Verification Form. Once you have established the process for uploading GPAs via a text batch, it is much easier and quicker to do and is the fastest way to submit large numbers of GPA records. GPA Summary Report and the School of Origin Report. GPA Summary Report is cumulative so it grows as you submit more GPA records and you can keep track of how many GPAs were successfully submitted to CSAC so you can compare with the total number of students in your records. Upload GPAs now!

27 Non-SSN GPA File Upload
Successful Pilot with LA Unified Districts and schools may use this method Allows upload of GPA data without the student’s SSN. GPA matched to FAFSA using other data Must be submitted by batch process only Contact School Support Branch for file layout Adrian Felix (916) or, (888) Allows high schools to load GPAs without SSNs. The match to the FAFSA is made on other data, including name, date of birth, mailing address, , telephone and other fields on the FAFSA. Contact the CSAC School Support Branch to get the data file layout (888)

28 WebGrants for Students (WGS)
Provides students online access to California assistance and more— Secure, 24/7, student-friendly access to their Cal Grant and Chafee Grant award status; Links to other related financial aid sites. Review WGS. Read both bullets and reiterate that other financial aid links empowers students with critical financial aid information to ensure successful processing of grant application & maintenance of their award status empowers students with critical financial aid information to ensure successful processing of grant application & maintenance of their award status

29 WebGrants for Students (WGS)
Access available after the FAFSA is filed Check application and award status Verify and update and mailing address View payment history Simulate Cal Grant status at eligible California schools Request a leave of absence Self-certify high school graduation Select links to other financial aid information sites Use of WGS is strongly encouraged

30 Cash for College

31 Cash for College Workshop Network
FAFSA Completion Workshops Held January through March 2 Program partners: CSAC, high schools, campuses, college access and community groups Offered in 51 counties 600 workshops were held in 2011 More than 30,000 students 500 $1,000 incentive scholarships for high school seniors The California Cash for College Workshop Network This year Cash for College Network held more than 600 workshops in 51 counties throughout California between January through March 2nd (Cal Grant deadline). More than 30,000 students attended the workshops to complete the FAFSA scholarships ($1000) were awarded to high school seniors. The network is a partnership between the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC), local high schools and college/universities, & various college access and community groups.

32 Cash for College Workshops
Held January through the March 2nd Cal Grant deadline Open to all students: focus on low-income and first- generation seniors Involve parents/guardians through individual assistance Provide line-by-line help on the FAFSA, learn about Cal Grants, AB 540, AB 130 and other sources of financial aid Offer multi-lingual materials Assistance & training offered to use computer-based tools like the new FAFSA bridge Site support funds offered to help offset costs of workshop Though open to all students, the focus is on low income and first-generation seniors; The program is designed to involve parents and guardians. Help is provided with the line by line FASFA and multi-lingual materials are available. School sites hosting a CFC workshop are encouraged to open CSAC WebGrants accounts to receive FAFSA completion information for students at their school. Because of the changes on the FAFSA, for a second year the Commission will be able to draw down FAFSA completion information and provide it to schools. Schools must have a WebGrants account, or reactivate their account to participate. A new partnership with Computer Using Educators, CUE, will assist sites that have difficulties in getting computer access or use at that site.

33 Cash for College $1,000 private incentive scholarships will be provided at qualifying workshops for a seventh year. For the second year, funding will be provided through CSAC’s partnership with ECMC. Organizers help notify scholarship recipients in late May and early June For more information and to register workshops, visit: Read on the information on the slides.

34 2011 Cash for College Results
9 out of 10 students attending a CFC workshop submitted a FAFSA by March 2nd 8 out of 10 applied for a Cal Grant by March 2nd More than 30,000 students qualified for $137 million in Cal Grants and Pell Grants Students at a computer-based workshop were more likely to complete the FAFSA by March 2nd Read on the information on the slides. Nearly 600 workshops returned 30,517 student evaluations in 2011; 93% of students submitted a FAFSA. Of those who submitted a FAFSA, 97% were by the March 2 deadline. 86% of students completed BOTH a FAFSA and their Cal Grant GPA by the March 2 deadline. Note: re: the Cal Grant and Pell Grant total was calculated using actual awarded Cal Grant totals for qualifying students and the number of Pell eligible students at the current average Pell award amount.

35 FAFSA Completion Rates
Data for this slide is taken from student exit surveys statewide, AT the time of the Workshop. Students who attended workshops that used computers to complete the FAFSA said that they completed their FAFSAs at much higher rates. 85% of respondents said that they completed either all or some of the FAFSA at the workshop. Whereas 63% of students attending a workshop without any computers said they completed all or some of the FAFSA. Final FAFSA completion data shows that students are nearly 10 percent more likely to meet the March 2 deadline if they attend and use a computer at a workshop.

36 Cash for College Online Wrapper
Sites are strongly encouraged to offer workshops in computer labs Guides students to the FAFSA, Chafee, or AB 540 depending on student needs Exit Survey is online. Easy access for viewing submitted surveys at workshops Strongly encourage sites to use computer labs and load Cash for College wrapper onto computers. Here is what the computer screen looks like for students

37 Cash for College To register and order materials for your workshop, visit the Cash for College pages at Statewide Cash for College office is: Find your regional Cash for College coordinating organization under the Cash for College “Contact Us” page at:

38 Questions? Questions? School Support (888)


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