Cal Grant Application Deadline for Community College Student Is Extended To September 5

By Gina Browne, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Educational Services and Support, California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office

SACRAMENTO, CA—This time of year when the fall semester is beginning, I often hear students and parents say, “It’s too late to enroll in college and get the money I need to pay for tuition, books, supplies, and living expenses.” But it’s not too late.

Students can still enroll now for the fall semester at one of the 116 California community colleges and they still have time to apply for financial aid to help cover their costs for the 2023-24 academic year. 

Due to the typical Cal Grant September 2 deadline falling on a Saturday during the Labor Day holiday weekend, the deadline to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) for students attending a California community college has been extended to Tuesday, September 5. This extension ensures that students have time to apply for the Cal Grant Community College Entitlement Award, which offers funds that do not have to be paid back. 

More students are getting the message and taking advantage of the financial aid available to them. As of August 27, 2023 the California Student Aid Commission has seen an increase of 4.6% in completions of the FAFSA compared to the same time last year. Still, too often students disqualify themselves from financial aid before they have a chance to benefit, leaving millions of dollars in financial aid unused every year. That’s why we must urge everyone considering attending a community college to submit their FAFSA and CADAA applications by September 5. Financial aid is for all students, especially students from historically underrepresented populations, who may not know these funds are available to help them to go to college and achieve their higher educational goals.

It’s important to note that by completing the FAFSA or CADAA by the deadline, students can qualify to receive the most financial aid possible. What’s more, students awarded a Cal Grant may transfer their remaining eligibility to a University of California (UC) or a California State University (CSU) upon transfer from a community college.

Having the money to pay for college is a major determining factor in whether individuals pursue higher education. Not only is there still time to apply for financial aid for this school year, but help is available. Students can get directly connected to their local financial aid office to get one-on-one assistance with completing their financial aid form. The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office encourages interested students to visit to enroll, find links to the financial aid forms, and use the college locator tool to get contact information for their local financial aid office. 

For more information about financial aid including special scholarships and to enroll today visit

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