Video: What is a Cal Grant?

State and Federal Grants

A grant is money for college that generally does not have to be paid back. Grants may come from the state of California or the federal government.

State Grants

Cal Grants  

There are three types of Cal Grants, but you don’t need to figure out which one to apply for. Your eligibility will be determined by the information you submit on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act Application (CADAA). This information may include your income, GPA, type of school you plan to attend and whether you’re a recent high school graduate. In addition, the size of your award will be proportionately affected by your enrollment status (i.e., whether you are attending full, three-quarter or half time).

  • Cal Grant A is intended to help pay for tuition and fees at a four-year college. If you attend a community college like De Anza, the Cal Grant A is held on reserve until you transfer.
  • Cal Grant B provides a living allowance of up to $1,670 for first-year college students. It can be expanded to cover tuition and fees after the first year.
  • Cal Grant C is intended to help students with the costs of a technical or career education. It provides up to $547 a year, for up to two years, for books, tools and equipment.

To qualify for a Cal Grant, you must be a California resident who is enrolled at least half-time (6 units or more) or planning to attend an eligible college or university in California. Also, you must be a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident or an undocumented student who has met AB540 criteria for exemption from non-resident tuition.

California also provides the Student Success Grant of up to $8,000 a year to community college students who receive the Cal Grant B or C, provided they are full-time students.  Those taking between 12 and 14.99 units, will receive $866/65 each quarter. Those who are taking at 15 or more units may receive up to $2666/67 each quarter.  Funding is limited.

Chafee Grants for Foster Youth  

The Chafee Grant is a state program designed to help students who are in foster care or were in foster care between the ages of 16 and 18. It provides up to $5,000 a year for career or technical training or college.

  • How to apply: Use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Undocumented students can apply through the California Dream Act. First-time applicants must also submit a Chafee Grant Application.
  • For more information: See the Chafee Grant page of the California Student Aid Commission website.
  • You'll find more resources for foster youth on our Guardian Scholars/NextUP webpage.

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services Grants  

Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS) is a state-funded program created to help students who are academically and economically disadvantaged. In addition to registration, counseling and peer advisement services, the EOPS program offers grants to a limited number of students.

Students receiving Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) should also inquire about the CARE program by calling 408.864.8219.

Federal Grants

Pell Grant  

The Pell Grant is money from the federal government that does not have to be repaid, provided the student maintains Satisfactory Academic Progress. These grants are given to students who demonstrate financial need, based on the information submitted on their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The amount of the grant is determined by the student’s enrollment status – full-time (12 or more units), three-quarter-time (9 to 11.5 units), half-time (6 to 8.5 units), or less than half-time (5.5 or less units) – and the student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)  

The SEOG is a federal grant awarded by the college to students with “exceptional need.” It is intended to help with educational costs not covered by the Pell Grant.

To meet the definition of “exceptional need” at De Anza, students must have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) that is calculated to be $1000 or less.

Due to the limited amount of funds available, these grants are awarded as FAFSA applications are received. Grants are awarded for students who begin attending in the fall and winter quarters; De Anza does not offer this grant for summer session.

At De Anza, the SEOG for students who enroll in the fall amounts to $600 for the academic year, disbursed in amounts of $200 for each quarter in the fall, winter and spring.

The SEOG for winter enrollees amounts to $400 per academic year, disbursed in amounts of $200 for each quarter in the winter and spring.

The financial aid office has the discretion to award in excess of $600 if the need arises, and to award to students whose EFC exceed 1000 if they exhibit need.

Terms and Conditions

Please note: Each type of financial aid has important terms and conditions that you must follow. See this page for details.


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