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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
August 8, 2018

County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, High School Principals, and High School Counselors:

Cal Grant Grade Point Average Submission Reminder

We welcome you back to school and look forward to another successful year as we partner together to provide financial aid options to all of your college-bound students. Our goal is to provide information and resources that will assist high schools with successfully submitting senior grade point averages (GPAs) and monitoring their students throughout the Cal Grant award process.

Effective January 1, 2017, changes to the California Education Code related to new timelines for districts and public high schools are applicable. GPAs are now due to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) by October 1, 2018. To prepare for an earlier upload, high schools are also required to provide the Opt-Out alternative to students by January 1 of their junior year. Please refer to the table below, which outlines important dates for the 2019–20 award year.

2019–20 Award Year (Class of 2019)

Date Deadline

May 14, 2018

GPA submission window opened

October 1, 2018

High school GPA submission deadline

October 1, 2018

2019–20 FAFSA/CADAA is available

January 1, 2019

GPA Opt-Out due (Juniors—Class of 2020)

March 2, 2019

FAFSA/CADAA deadline for Cal Grant applications

August 31, 2019

High School graduation verification deadline


This year, high schools continue to have the ability to track Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and California Dream Act Application (CADAA) completion rates through the CSAC’s online dashboard. The dashboard will show the number of FAFSAs and CADAAs submitted by a high school or district. It will provide completion percentages as a function of the senior enrollment numbers. In addition, it will identify the number of Cal Grant applications submitted and the number of awards offered. The dashboard will be available on the CSAC website at www.csac.ca.gov. High schools will be able to utilize the CSAC dashboard starting October 1, 2018.

After submitting GPAs to the CSAC, high schools should monitor their students throughout the award process. This includes identifying students who have not submitted an application and performing outreach to encourage them to apply. Also, high schools must utilize the WebGrants Reports to identify students whose GPAs are not matched to an application. If a GPA is not matched to an application, the student cannot be considered for a Cal Grant award. The CSAC will be offering online webinars monthly that cover a variety of topics, including how to create/upload your GPA file and how to edit/match GPA records. To register for an online webinar, please refer to the CSAC’s Trainings web page at http://www.csac.ca.gov/trainings.

In addition, the 2018 High School Counselor Workshops are being offered at various locations throughout California. This year, the CSAC will cover Cal Grant program basics and eligibility, updates to the CADAA, how to conduct a Cash for College workshop, high school responsibilities, and helpful hints. If you are interested in attending one of the free 2018 High School Counselor Workshops in your area, please register at https://events.com/r/en_US/registration/2018-high-school-counselor-workshops-august-735783.

For more information, please visit the CSAC website at www.csac.ca.gov or contact CSAC’s Institutional Support by phone at 888-294-0153 or by email at schoolsupport@csac.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
California Department of Education

Lupita Cortez Alcalá
Executive Director
California Student Aid Commission

TT/LCA:lfb
2018-04578
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 8, 2018

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