Each state offers great scholarships that you need to look into or miss out on some very well-funded scholarship programs. It is actually pretty quick and easy to identify the state funds that are most targeted to your educational needs.
Keep in mind that most scholarship programs are merit-based. Sources of these scholarships are federal and state government scholarships, professional organizations, and individual colleges and universities. State governments tend to focus on awarding scholarships on the basis of academic merit or a combination of financial need and merit.
When it comes to California, the Cal Grants program is designed around numerous enticing grant options that can essentially provide something for everyone. Every California student can apply and money is available for all who qualify.
The Cal Grants program is flexible enough to allow students more individual choices in deciding when it is right to start on the college path. Students can take a year off after high school or go straight into college. Even those who did not finish a traditional high school can send in their ACT or SAT scores to qualify for a Cal grant. You may even qualify if you are well past high school graduation. Send in that application and find out.
Cal Grant A: This grant offers tuition for students in a California State University or University of California school. Those choosing a private college may qualify for awards up to $8,000. Students must be enrolled in a four-year degree program to qualify.
Cal Grant B: This grant is disbursed incrementally and is designed for economically disadvantaged students. It can cover some tuition and nominal fees such as books and other expenses.
Cal Grant C: Cal Grant C assists those students that are pursuing a vocational or community college degree or certificate program. The minimum covers books and other expenses and those who qualify may receive money for tuition, too.
Cal Grant A Competitive Award: This competitive award is given on a need basis and to students with a maintained GPA of 3.0 or higher. In order to qualify, students must be enrolled in a 2 or 4-year program.
Cal Grant B Competitive Award: This portion of the grant program is administered to only the most economically disadvantaged students. Applicants must have a GPA of 2.0 and be enrolled in at least a 1-year program.
Applications are due by March 2 to maximize your opportunity to receive an award. Cal Grant awards are limited, so make sure to apply early. Good luck.