Grants are a very desirable type of financial aid because they do not have to be repaid. Most grant aid is based on financial need, so you must complete the FAFSA in order to be considered. Sources of grants include federal, state, private and institutional funds. Because grants never have to be repaid, they are usually limited to the neediest students. For more information about grants and other types of financial aid, call 1-800-4FEDAID and ask for The Student Guide.
Learn more about different kinds of grants available:
Federal Pell Grant
Federal Pell Grants are awarded based on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) established by the U.S. Department of Education upon completion of the FAFSA; the schools cost-of-attendance, and the student’s enrollment status (full time or part time). Federal Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's degree.
To determine eligibility, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standardized formula to determine a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC’s can range from zero to 99,999. When a student completes a FAFSA they will be sent a Student Aid Report (SAR) that contains the EFC; information they inputted on their FAFSA; and any important comments that may need to be addressed with the school such as Verification, Selective Service, Loan Limits, etc. For the 2013-2014 school year full-time students with EFCs range from zero to 5081 qualify for a Federal Pell Grant. Those with EFCs greater than 5081 are not eligible for a Pell Grant but could be eligible for other types of aid. The Pell Grant awards for the 2013-2014 school year range from $605 to $5645.
Please note: If a student decide to take summer classes and are Federal Pell Grant eligible they will be awarded a Federal Pell Grant based on their enrollment status. Those funds awarded in summer will reduce the amount of the student’s spring semester award. To view more information please go to the Summer Financial Aid Page.
You can view what your Pell eligibility will be based on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by clicking on the Federal Pell chart below.
Maximum Pell Eligibility
The Department of Education has established that students can only receive the Federal Pell Grant for the equivalent of 12 full time semester or 600%. This means a student that has received a Federal Pell grant that is equivalent to 12 full time semesters are no longer eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant or any other Federal Grants even if they have not completed their first bachelor’s degree. If this happens FAFSA will notify students via their Student Aid Report in the Comment Section and Cal U will update the student’s account based on the information received by the Department of Education. Cal U highly encourages students to monitor the percentage and semesters of Federal Pell eligibility used through the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) at www.NSLDS.ed.gov
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
If you are a Pell Grant recipient with exceptional need, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) may help you even more. This grant is reserved for undergraduate students with the lowest Expected Family Contributions (EFCs). Preference is given to Pell Grant recipients who file their FAFSA before our first priority deadline of May 1. The FSEOG annual award typically ranges from $500 to $1,000, depending on funding levels.
Are you planning a career in the field of teaching? A TEACH Grant may give you up to $4,000 per year, or a total of $16,000 for your undergraduate study if you agree to teach full time in a high-need subject area for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Part-time students are eligible, but the amount of the grant will be reduced based on your enrollment status.
Student Eligibility Requirements
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program was created by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA). To qualify for a TEACH grant, you do not have to demonstrate financial need, but you must complete these requirements:
- File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year that you wish to receive the grant.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Have a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.25.
- Successfully pass the Praxis I exams.
- Major in one of the high-need subject areas, such as foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, special education or another field documented as high-need by the federal government, state government or local education agency and approved by the U.S. Department of Education.
Note: The TEACH grant must be repaid as a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan if you change your major from one of the high-need subject areas listed above.
Attend an in-person TEACH Grant counseling session conducted by the University's Financial Aid Office.
Complete an online TEACH Grant counseling session.
Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay each year.
TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay
Every year that you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay service agreement through the U.S. Department of Education. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded and the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements, you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest, you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You will incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.
Highly Qualified Teacher
You must perform the teaching service as a highly qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law. The definition can be found online at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg107.html
You must meet the state's definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
Schools Serving Low-Income Students
In order to qualify for the TEACH Grant, you must teach at a Title I school that serves low-income students. Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the U.S. Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits at www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp
You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as after you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you either still intend to teach, or that you are teaching now, as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.
If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study, or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you must stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education in order to prevent the grant from being converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.
IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLETE THE FOUR-YEAR TEACHING OBLIGATION, YOU WILL BE REQUIRED TO REPAY THE GRANT WITH INTEREST!
Pennsylvania State Grant (PHEAA)
The PHEAA Grant provides need-based state grant assistance of up to $3,900 per year. The grant program is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is administered by PHEAA Grant Division. If eligible, you may receive up to eight full-time semesters of PHEAA Grant assistance or 16 semesters of part-time assistance.
In order to be eligible, you must:
- Be a Pennsylvania resident.
- Complete the FAFSA by May 1 each year.
- Be enrolled on at least a half-time basis in a PHEAA-approved undergraduate program of study.
- Be a high school graduate or the recipient of a GED.
- Demonstrate academic progress for continued aid.
Please note: Students enrolled in online programs/majors are NOT eligible for PHEAA State Grant aid. Students must complete at least 50% of their coursework in a particular program of study (major) through classroom instruction.
California University of Pennsylvania is a Division II member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). There are 11 intercollegiate teams for men and women. If you are interested in participating in intercollegiate athletics and possibly obtaining an athletic scholarship, you should contact the head coach of your preferred sport.