We could go on and on about how great Cal Grants are, but our recipients do it for us. Could you be next?
Senior, El Camino High School, Sacramento
For me, it was never a question of whether I would go to college, but where. Getting a Cal Grant allows me to look at schools impartially, without having to factor tuition costs into my decision. Since I seem to have expensive taste in schools (Stanford is my top choice!), a Cal Grant would help my family tremendously.
Sophomore, UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara
I was really, really happy when I found out that I got a Cal Grant and could go to school in Santa Barbara and not be saddled with thousands and thousands of dollars in loans. I’m a film studies major and I’m taking a lot of classes in writing, so I’m leaning towards being a screenwriter when I graduate. I’m using my Cal Grant to pay for books and tuition, which is kinda high since the prices went up so much last year. Without a Cal Grant, I probably wouldn’t have been able to go to college. It’s not like my family has millions of dollars, so the extra money’s really helping. I’ve got a younger brother and a younger sister, and if they decide to go to college, I’m gonna tell them to do well in school because a Cal Grant is a lot better than paying off loans.
Freshman, Fresno City College, Fresno
My Cal Grant is making my college dreams come true. In a few weeks I will be finishing my first college semester, and my Cal Grant has made a big difference. I used my Cal Grant to buy class materials and a computer. Since I have to type a lot of my assignments, things are definitely easier now that I don't have to hunt around for a computer to borrow. Right now I am attending Fresno City College as an English major. With the help of Cal Grants, I hope to transfer to the University of California and eventually teach at the college level. I definitely encourage other students to apply for Cal Grants. I just know that when I received my notice it was a huge sigh of relief...it could be the same for them!
Actress, Los Angeles
Without a Cal Grant, going to college would have been very difficult for me. I would have had to borrow a lot of money, get a third job, use credit cards, take out more loans and ask my parents to take out loans, too. My Cal Grant paid for an entire year of college. I was absolutely stoked when I found out I was going to get free money for school! Now, I'm pursuing an acting career in LA, so it's not like college is absolutely necessary for my career choice but the experience definitely made me a richer person and broadened the way I look at the world. I would recommend higher education to anyone regardless of his or her future career plans. And, without a doubt I tell everyone who is getting ready to graduate from high school to take the time to fill out the forms for the Cal Grant. There are only two forms and although it takes some time and effort to fill them out it's worth it. I took the time and I was hooked up with a Cal Grant. Free money, life doesn't get much better than that!
President of Imagen Public Relations, Modesto
Growing up, college wasn’t something my family talked about or even thought of. Neither of my immigrant parents had an education, and extra income from the kids was a major factor in supporting a large family of eight. I saw college as a way to get out of difficult circumstances and knew I could make more money with a college degree. I used my Cal Grant to pay for tuition and living expenses while I earned a degree in Communications from CSU, Stanislaus. It also allowed me to live on campus and truly enjoy the whole college experience. I would tell any high school student who is looking for a way to pay for college that Cal Grant is something to be proud of--it is not a hand out, but a hand up.
Staffer for Senator Deborah Ortiz, Sacramento
Looking back on how Cal Grant helped me, it covered tuition, books, and helped with living expenses, such as rent and food. I am most grateful for the important resource Cal Grant afforded me, which was time. Since I had worked non-stop from the age of 12-27 and employed full-time right out of high school, I was honored to receive a Cal Grant and be a full-time student. Because I was able to maximize my time, I had two wonderful opportunities made available to me: I interned with California State Senator Deborah Ortiz and joined the UCD Gospel Choir which performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Though I definitely would have found a way to pay for college without a Cal Grant, it gave me peace of mind while I was in school knowing I wouldn’t have to pay any of it back-it doesn’t get any better than that! I would definitely encourage any high school student to work hard to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA so that they can apply for a Cal Grant. It’s an excellent way to get free money for college. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
Executive Director for the California Student Aid Commission,Sacramento
When I look at the Cal Grant Program, I look at its ability to change lives the way it did mine. As the oldest sibling in a Latino family, a Cal Grant made it easier for me to talk with my family about the possibility of going to college. The Cal Grant Program made college a reality for me and my siblings. I advise young people that they need to pursue their education goals to get good paying jobs and change their lives...and even their families' lives...for the better. For myself, I really attribute my ability to go to graduate school and become a leader in higher education policy to the Cal Grant Program. There is no way I'd be here without it.