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    How To Apply For A Student Loan In California

    Student Loan In California

    Earning a college degree has become the most important factor in deciding if you’ll get a well-paying job in today’s economy. 

    Unfortunately, college is getting more expensive every year. 

    However, California offers many programs that are geared toward helping fund your college education. 

    Many schools in this state also offer generous tuition assistance based on the household income of the student. The CA education system offers free education to students whose family's income is less than $80,000. 

    Read on to learn about the different student loans, scholarships, and grants available for students willing to pursue higher education in this state.

    Available Student Loan Programs In California

    If you wish to attend school in California and are looking to finance your education, then you’ll have both federal and private loans to choose from. 

    • Federal student loans: These loans are provided by the U.S. Department of Education. All students are eligible for federal student loans by just filling out the FAFSA form and applying for the loan. There are four types of direct loans available: direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, direct PLUS loans, and direct consolidation loans
    • Private student loans: These loans are funded by private organizations like banks, online lenders, credit unions, schools, and state-based or state-affiliated organizations. Lenders like Credible and CommonBond are highly recommended for those that want to apply for private loans

    Scholarship And Grant Programs In California

    In addition to federal and private student loans, this state also offers many other scholarship and grant options for aspiring students. Listed below are the programs that you can apply for.

    California Chafee Grant For Foster Youth 

    This program offers free money to foster youth for college or career training. If you were in foster care between the ages of 16 and 18 as a dependent or ward of the court and in need of finances, then you’re eligible for up to $5,000 a year for your career training or college. You won’t have to repay the money. You can also use your grant to pay for child care, transportation, and rent when you’re in school. The Chafee Grant can be used at any eligible CA university and at schools in other states.

    Cal Grants

    The Cal Grant program offers money for college which you don’t have to pay back. You must apply for the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) to qualify for the Cal Grant program. You should apply before the deadline and fulfill the eligibility requirement as well as the GPA requirements. 

    The Cal Grant program can be used at any 

    • University of California
    • California Community College
    • California State University
    • Technical school in this state.

    California National Guard Program

    If you’re an active member of the California National Guard, the State Military Reserve, or the Naval Militia, then you can apply for the state-funded program known as California National Guard Program. It’s designed to provide an education to improve the skill, competencies, and abilities of the student. 

    Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program (LEPD)

    This educational grant is available to the spouses and dependents of CA peace officers (highway patrol, marshalls, sheriffs, police officers), members of Department of Corrections, families of CA Youth Authority employees, and permanent and full-time firefighters who’ve been killed on duty or are disabled due to a work accident. These undergraduates are eligible for the Law Enforcement Personnel Dependents Grant Program.

    Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS)

    The MCS provides scholarships for undergraduate students and those who are pursuing a teaching credential. Students should meet the following requirements: 

    • The applicant should be a CA resident attending a UC or CSU, be a U.S. citizen, have AB 540 student status, and meet other financial aid standards
    • To monitor state financial aid, the student will have to establish a WebGrants4students account after filling out the FAFSA or CADAA
    • Students whose family income and assets are up to $184,000 per year are eligible for a scholarship between 10% and 40% of the tuition 

    There’s no fixed amount set for MCS scholarships. Therefore, it varies from student to institution. The amount is determined after the student has been awarded any federal, state, or institutional need-based grants. The CA Student Aid Commission will notify you if you’ve selected to receive the MCS.

    Bottom Line 

    If you already have a student loan and are looking for options, then you can check for student loan California forgiveness programs. Additionally, you might even look to refinancing your student loan to save money on interest. 

    You should always evaluate how much money is required to study in your chosen state. Research and apply for scholarships or financial aid from your school. Moreover, try to find money from other sources such as family funds. If you’ve exhausted all these avenues and still have a funding gap, only then should you apply for student loans.