March 2 is the deadline for students who plan on attending a two-year or four-year school in California to apply for one of six Cal Grants.

High school seniors, recent high school grads and those who have just completed a General Education Degree (GED) can apply for grants that pay tuition and fees up to $9,708.

Cal Grants consist of entitlement awards that are guaranteed to graduating high school seniors or recent graduates (within one year of graduating or receiving a GED), who have at least a 2.0 grade point average (GPA), were a California resident at the time of graduation and meet income eligibility guidelines.

There are also competitive Cal Grants, which are not guaranteed and are targeted at low- and moderate-income students not eligible for the entitlement awards.

In addition to completing the Cal Grant application, interested individuals must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Cal Grant Grade Point Average Verification form. These must also be submitted by March 2.

Students who earn their GED and have no GPA can still apply for a Cal Grant.

Below find the requirements based on the Cal Grant.

Cal Grant A Entitlement can be used for tuition and fees at public, private and some career colleges. At state-supported, four-year schools the grants cover full system-wide fees, while those attending a private college can obtain up to $9,708. Eligible students must be working toward obtaining a two- or four-year degree.

Cal Grant B Entitlement provides low-income students with a living allowance as well as tuition and fee assistance.

Cal Grant C helps students pay for tuition and training costs at occupational or career colleges.
This $576 award covers books, tools and equipment. Students may receive up to an additional $2,592 for tuition at a school other than a California Community College. Funding is available for up to two years, and the program must be at least four months long.

Cal Grant A Competitive award is for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low- and middle-income families and helps pay tuition and fees at qualifying schools with academic programs that are at least two years in length.

Cal Grant B Competitive helps students with at least a 2.0 GPA from disadvantaged and low-income families pay for tuition, fees and access costs at qualifying schools that have academic programs at least one year long.

California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth helps students who were or are in foster care, and have not reached their 22nd birthday by July 1 of the award year. Up to $5,000 is available and can cover expenses such as child care, housing, tuition and transportation. Students can obtain both Cal and Chafee grants simultaneously, and there is no deadline to apply for the Chafee.

The California Student Aid Commission, which administers the Cal Grant program, also conducts a series of Cash for College workshops around the state which provide young people and their parents with additional information about applying for the Cal Grants. Those who attend these events will also have an opportunity to apply for additional special scholarships valued at up to $1,000.

Upcoming Los Angeles-area Cash for Colleges workshops will be held Jan. 31 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Chinatown Service Center Youth Division, 727 N. Broadway, Suite 211; Jan. 31 at University High School from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 11800 Texas Ave.; Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. -2 p.m. at Belmont High School, 1575 W. Second St.; and Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Dorsey High School, 3537 Farmdale Ave.

For more information on the entire Cal Grant process and the Cash for College workshops, visit the Web site www.calgrants.org. There is also information available at http://www.csac.ca.gov./