Friday, May 25, 2012

Concerns Over Proposed Cal Grants Cuts in May Revise Budget

Cal Grant program faces cuts in governor's budget (excerpts)

Wyatt Buchanan, San Francisco Chronicle, May 25, 2012

Gov. Jerry Brown is proposing to cut a state program that helps thousands of low- and middle-income California university students pay for tuition and other costs.  Under Brown's revised budget plan, thousands of California college students who start their education in fall of 2013 would either be unable to qualify for a Cal Grant or would receive a much smaller grant than if they had applied this year.  Currently, students who qualify and attend either the University of California or California State University systems receive enough of a grant to cover the entire cost of tuition.

The governor … wants Cal Grants tied to the federal Pell Grants for student aid. That means if a student qualified for only half of the maximum federal award, that student would qualify for just half of the maximum Cal Grant award. Students receiving the full Pell Grant would receive the full Cal Grant. Students who currently receive a Cal Grant would be grandfathered into the program and would not be affected.

…Pell Grants take into account a number of factors - including family size, income, assets and other criteria that are combined in a complex calculation - in determining how much of an award a student receives. The current maximum award is $5,550.  Cal Grants have minimum grade point average requirements, along with basic family income and asset requirements to qualify. The maximum Cal Grant is $12,192 for UC students.  The governor's latest proposal comes in addition to other changes in Cal Grants that he called for in his January budget. Those would increase the minimum grade point average to qualify…

…(F)inancial aid for about 11,200 CSU students would be affected, along with about 8,900 UC students. Just under 3,600 community colleges would see a cut, and if such students apply late for aid, they would actually see that reduction this year. …

An assessment of the governor’s proposal by the Legislative Analyst indicates that about a third of Cal Grant recipients would be affected.  See slide 7 of:

The Commission that administers the Cal Grants program has voiced opposition:


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