Friday, February 27, 2009

Understanding Cal Grant A, B, & C

Cal Grants
To qualify for Cal Grants, a student must be a California resident, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, obtain a social security number and be attending (or plan to attend) an eligible institution in California.

A student may receive only one Cal Grant, either Cal Grant A, B or C. The three grants are targeted to assist three distinct groups of applicants and are mutually exclusive. In short, Cal Grant A provides tuition assistance for a student attending a four-year institution, Cal Grant B is subsistence assistance for entering community college students and Cal Grant C is awarded to community college students majoring in vocational programs.

The enrollment status of the student i.e. full time, three-quarter time or half-time will proportionately affect the amount of money received by eligible students.

REMEMBER!! Be sure to submit your FAFSA application in order to meet the MARCH 2nd deadline for the Cal Grant. FAFSA is the vehicle for the Pell Grant, Cal Grant, FSEOG, Work Study and Student Loans.


MFallon said...

California's federal aid application (FAFSA) deadline is Monday March 2. Colleges have their own deadlines so check them out too.
The 2009-2010 FAFSA asks 137 income, asset, and dependency questions, and can be daunting. You can answer some questions incorrectly and still
have your application approved but receive a smaller aid award. Other inaccuracies can cause rejection, which in the first-come, first-served world of
student aid means that less aid will be available when your application is finally considered. That's why people get help from a professional paid aid
advisor, just like you pay a tax consultant to maximize your income tax return.
For high school seniors and their parents, the first time filing the FAFSA can be confusing and unlike college students, most high school students don't
have a college financial aid administrator to help them because they have not been accepted into college yet.
Here are the top 10 ways to get more student aid:
1. Don’t delay. If you file your income taxes around the April 15th deadline, don’t wait until your taxes are completed to file your FAFSA or you will miss
most of the state and college student aid deadlines. Most programs award aid on a first-come, first-serve basis. Providing accurate estimates on the
FAFSA is perfectly fine. Be careful when calculating or estimating your adjusted gross income. Answering this question incorrectly won’t cause your FAFSA
to be rejected, but could lower your aid award. Remember, your taxable income is not your adjusted gross income.
2. Don’t include untaxed Social Security as income. The law changed this year. Reporting it will inflate your expected family contribution and lower the
amount of aid for which you are eligible.
3. Children of divorced parents typically believe that the parent they live with is their legal guardian and that they are in a legal guardianship. This is not
true in all cases. A wrong answer will incorrectly change the student’s dependency status to “independent” and impact the aid calculation.
4. More families are withdrawing funds from retirement accounts early – sometimes it’s taxed and sometimes it’s not. Counting these funds in both
adjusted gross income and untaxed income will inflate your expected family contribution and decrease aid.
5. If you or a family member has had their job eliminated, you may be eligible to answer “yes” to the “dislocated worker” question. You need to meet one
of four criteria on the day that you submit your FAFSA. Student Financial Aid Services is seeing that one in every 10 families has a member whose job
has been eliminated. Being a “dislocated worker” affects how your assets are treated and could even reduce your expected family contribution to zero.
6. Consider getting student aid advice and FAFSA preparation help from paid professionals. Federal law allows paid professional FAFSA preparation, much
like tax advisors help families prepare their taxes accurately and correctly to maximize their tax refunds. Choose a professional FAFSA preparer who has a
good Better Business Bureau rating, uses people to review each answer to ensure accuracy, receives high ratings from past clients, and has the goal of
making you eligible for the most aid possible. With the average student aid award of $9,500 at stake, help from a professional FAFSA preparer can relieve
some of the stress of finding money for college.
7. Don’t include your primary residence as an asset, or you will be inflating your expected family contribution and lowering your potential for aid.
8. Not all businesses are treated the same when calculating assets. Different rules apply to family-owned businesses employing fewer than 100 people.
Getting this wrong won’t reject your FAFSA, but it could lower the amount of aid for which you are eligible.
9. List your last name exactly as it appears on your Social Security card or your FAFSA will be rejected.
10. Double-check all numbers. That sounds simple, but transposing numbers is one of the most common mistakes and will affect your aid award.
Apply now. The competition is fierce but nearly everyone is eligible for aid and the new stimulus bill President Obama signed increased the Pell grants,
work study, and the tuition tax credit.

The Search for Scholarships said...

Thank you for your input.