There’s good news in bad news when comparing college costs in California to the rest of the country. The bad? It’s the 8th most expensive state in the country to go to school, averaging $35,543 per year at four year undergraduate universities.
The good? California offers tons of opportunities to make college education more affordable through scholarship opportunities, grants and student loans.
The less student loans you have upon graduation, the easier it is to settle into your new life in the workforce. At Funding U, we recommend students follow this ultimate checklist for paying for school to help keep their student loan debt in check.
As part of our state by state guide to financial aid, here’s a rundown of the scholarships, grants, and student loans California has to offer.
What Scholarship Programs Does California Have?
California has many generous scholarship opportunities for those who achieve academically, make a significant impact on their local community, and have other forms of success. There are dozens upon dozens of scholarships available, and prospective students should feel encouraged to seek as many opportunities as possible. The following are four notable California specific scholarships:
The College Fee Waiver for Veteran Dependents benefit waives mandatory system-wide tuition and fees at any State of California Community College, California State University, or University of California campus. This program does not cover the expense of books, parking or room and board. There are four plans under which dependents of Veterans may be eligible.
The California Chicano News Media Association has awarded more than $800,000 in scholarships to Latin-x Californians aspiring to be journalists. The scholarships are based on several criteria, including: commitment to the field of journalism, scholastic achievement, community awareness and financial need. Students must be enrolled full time for the entire academic year in which they apply. They must also be a California resident or attend an accredited college or university in California.
The California Dream Act awards a scholarship to children of immigrant parents who are in need of financial assistance. To qualify, the applicant must attend a California high school and receive a high school diploma or receive a GED in the state of California. The amount the scholarship provides varies for each applicant, ranging from $500 to full tuition per each semester. This scholarship ensures those who were born inside the United States but have parents who may not have federal legal status inside the country are properly protected and more capable financially to pursue their dreams.
The Golden State Minority Foundation Scholarship is for prospective college or university students that are an ethnic minority, such as Black, Latino or Native American. Eligibility requirements include the applicant must have a GPA of 3.0 or greater and not be employed beyond 28 hours per week. Applicants must also be a current resident of the state of California. The amount provided to those who are accepted varies, and the average amount falls around $2,000 per semester. This scholarship ensures minorities who achieve exceptional educational accomplishments are properly rewarded for their efforts and able to attend the college or university of their choice in an affordable manner.
What Grant Programs Does California Have?
California offers a very generous grant program for financially disadvantaged prospective students. The Cal Grant Program is broken down into sections, which include the Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award, Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award, Cal Grant Competitive Awards and Cal Grant C Awards.
The Cal Grant High School Entitlement Award is a way for high school students in the state of California who are in low-income families to receive financial assistance and make college more affordable. There is also a Cal Grant Transfer Entitlement Award for students who have completed a community college program and desire to transfer to a four-year university.
There are two different types of grants an applicant may qualify for, Grant Type A and Type B. Cal Grant A is for low to middle income students who maintain a 3.0 GPA and are eligible to attend a college or university in California. Cal Grant B is for low-income students who have between a 2.0 and 3.0 GPA. The amount the grant is worth per semester varies per applicant and depending on whether the applicant is Cal Grant A or Cal Grant B.
The Cal Grant Competitive Award is designed for students who are not eligible for a Cal Grant Entitlement Award, but meet all other eligibility requirements and complete a FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (CADAA). There are three different grant types, which depend upon the applicant’s FAFSA information, GPA and education level of his or her parents.
In general, Grant A is for low to mid-income students who have a 3.0 GPA or greater. Grant B is for applicants who have a 2.0 GPA or greater and are considered low income. Grant C is for low-income applicants who attend an associate’s degree program for a high-demand career. The amount the grant provides ranges from around $1,500 to full tuition, depending on the grant type and cost of tuition for the desired college or university.
The Cal Grant C Award is for applicants who plan to pursue an occupational or technical program of at least four months in length. It is specifically for those who may require financial assistance and provides as much as $2,500 per semester. There is no GPA requirement, and there may be an additional amount provided by the state of California to help with the purchase of necessary textbooks, class supplies, etc.
The California Chafee Grant for Foster Youth is for prospective college or university students who currently are or once were in the foster care system in the state of California. In fact, individuals who spent even a day in the foster care system and meet all other requirements are eligible for this grant. The grant covers up to $5,000 annually for tuition costs, and the grant can even be used on expenses outside of tuition if desired. Applicants must be under the age of 22, fill out a FAFSA form and complete the Chafee Grant Application process.
What Student Loan Program Does California Have?
There are no student loan programs for the state of California and therefore prospective college students should instead go through FAFSA (federal student loans) or a private student loan institution. FAFSA provides financial assistance in the form of grants and low cost loans for college for those who meet the requirements. Those who do not qualify or prefer non-government aid should choose a private financial loan provider.
What Type of Student Loan Should You Get as a California Student?
California Student Loan Programs
There are not any state-specific student loan programs in the state of California. College students must rely on federal loans through FAFSA, receiving financial assistance through a private loan institution or paying out of pocket. In addition to this, prospective students should take advantage of all federal and state scholarships and grant opportunities.
Federal student loans
Prospective California students can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA).
Private co-signed student loans
There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.
No co-signer student loans in California
Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans in our how it works section.
NOTE: Funding U loan amount availability to residents of the state of California may vary from other states and is subject to change per the requirements of the company’s California lending license #60DBO 98217.
What schools does Funding U lend to in California?
Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that, we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, check out our FAQ.
Below is a table listing all of the schools in California that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate.
Don’t see the school you want to apply to on the list? Begin the application process, and we’ll check if it’s eligible. Find out more about how to determine eligibility on our Who Can Borrow page.
|America Evangelical University||No||No||No||No||33||50|
|American Jewish University||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||50|
|Antioch University-Los Angeles||No||No||No||No|
|Antioch University-Santa Barbara||No||No||No||No|
|Art Center College of Design||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||72||80|
|Azusa Pacific University||No||No||Yes||Yes||63||83|
|Azusa Pacific University College||No||No||No||No||25||75|
|California Baptist University||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||78|
|California College of the Arts||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||84|
|California Institute of Technology||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||92||98|
|California Institute of the Arts||No||No||Yes||Yes||56||90|
|California Lutheran University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||76||85|
|California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||82||95|
|California State Polytechnic University-Pomona||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||71||86|
|California State University Maritime Academy||No||No||Yes||Yes||62||75|
|California State University-Bakersfield||No||No||No||No||42||76|
|California State University-Channel Islands||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||79|
|California State University-Chico||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||84|
|California State University-Dominguez Hills||No||No||No||No||45||77|
|California State University-East Bay||No||No||No||No||48||75|
|California State University-Fresno||No||No||Yes||Yes||54||81|
|California State University-Fullerton||No||No||Yes||Yes||68||87|
|California State University-Long Beach||No||No||Yes||Yes||69||88|
|California State University-Los Angeles||No||No||No||No||48||79|
|California State University-Monterey Bay||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||79|
|California State University-Northridge||No||No||Yes||Yes||54||80|
|California State University-Sacramento||No||No||Yes||Yes||51||83|
|California State University-San Bernardino||No||No||Yes||Yes||57||85|
|California State University-San Marcos||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||79|
|California State University-Stanislaus||No||No||Yes||Yes||58||80|
|California University of Management and Sciences||No||No||No||No||25|
|Claremont McKenna College||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||93||97|
|Columbia College Hollywood||No||No||Yes||Yes||50||86|
|Dominican University of California||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||72||86|
|Fresno Pacific University||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||79|
|Harvey Mudd College||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||92||98|
|Holy Names University||No||No||No||No||48||82|
|Hope International University||No||No||No||No||44||72|
|Humboldt State University||No||No||Yes||Yes||52||68|
|John Paul the Great Catholic University||No||No||Yes||Yes||64||81|
|La Sierra University||No||No||No||No||45||75|
|Laguna College of Art and Design||No||No||Yes||Yes||61||85|
|Life Pacific College||No||No||No||No||41||61|
|Loma Linda University||No||No||No||No|
|Loyola Marymount University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||84||91|
|Marymount California University||No||No||No||No||33||63|
|Mount Saint Mary's University||No||No||Yes||Yes||64||76|
|Notre Dame de Namur University||No||No||No||No||49||68|
|Otis College of Art and Design||No||No||Yes||Yes||57||80|
|Pacific Union College||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||68|
|Point Loma Nazarene University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||77||89|
|Providence Christian College||No||No||No||No||33||61|
|Saint Mary's College of California||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||77||86|
|Samuel Merritt University||No||No||No||No|
|San Diego Christian College||No||No||No||No||44||77|
|San Diego State University||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||74||89|
|San Francisco Art Institute||No||No||No||No||43||51|
|San Francisco Conservatory of Music||No||No||Yes||Yes||58||76|
|San Francisco State University||No||No||Yes||Yes||55||81|
|San Jose State University||No||No||Yes||Yes||65||87|
|Santa Clara University||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||91||94|
|Soka University of America||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||90||94|
|Sonoma State University||No||No||Yes||Yes||63||79|
|Southern California Institute of Architecture||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||85||86|
|SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary||No||No||No||No||36||85|
|The Colburn Conservatory of Music||No||No||No||No||0||92|
|The Master's University and Seminary||No||No||Yes||Yes||60||85|
|Thomas Aquinas College||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||86||92|
|Touro University Worldwide||No||No||Yes||Yes||50||78|
|University of California-Berkeley||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||91||97|
|University of California-Davis||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||86||93|
|University of California-Irvine||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||83||94|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||91||97|
|University of California-Merced||No||No||Yes||Yes||66||81|
|University of California-Riverside||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||75||89|
|University of California-San Diego||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||86||94|
|University of California-Santa Barbara||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||82||93|
|University of California-Santa Cruz||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||74||91|
|University of La Verne||No||No||Yes||Yes||69||79|
|University of Redlands||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||74||82|
|University of San Diego||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||80||90|
|University of San Francisco||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||75||85|
|University of Southern California||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||92||96|
|University of the Pacific||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||73||85|
|University of the West||No||No||No||No||48||55|
|Vanguard University of Southern California||No||No||Yes||Yes||64||73|
|William Jessup University||No||No||Yes||Yes||59||73|
|Yeshiva Ohr Elchonon Chabad West Coast Talmudical Seminary||No||No||No||No||38||76|
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