NEWS FROM CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, BAKERSFIELD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOV. 14, 2000
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 661/664-2456, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cal Grant program is expanded
A university education is more accessible than ever before for hundreds of Kern County residents, thanks to a dramatically expanded Cal Grant program, Tomas Arciniega, president of California State University, Bakersfield, said today.
Gov. Gray Davis signed into law on Sept. 11 a bill that greatly expands the Cal Grant Program by creating Cal Grant A and Cal Grant B entitlement awards for graduating high school seniors. It also creates California community college transfer entitlement awards for junior college transfer students who meet the eligibility requirements.
Speaking at a news conference on the CSUB campus, Arciniega said, "This new legislation makes higher education in California more accessible than ever before. For California students who have the grades and the financial need, Cal Grant Entitlement awards are guaranteed.
"Saying you have limited family funds is no longer a valid reason for not attending college," Arciniega continued. "Beginning with the 2001-2002 academic year, graduating high school seniors and community college transfer students who meet the necessary grade and financial requirements will be assured a Cal Grant."
Steve Herndon, director of financial aid at CSUB, said that prior to the new law's passage many low- and middle-income students and their families did not believe that a college or university education was within their reach financially. Consequently, he said, "many families did not encourage their children to consider college as a viable alternative. The perception that higher education is not affordable has resulted in many students not entering a college-prep program by the ninth grade. But this new law means a university education is available to any qualified student."
Here's how the new Cal Grant Entitlement program works:
Cal Grant A, effective 2001-02 academic year - Must meet financial and basic eligibility requirements, including minimum 3.0 grade-point average, graduation from high school in 2000-01 or later. Grant amounts are full fees at the California State University and the University of California, and up to $9,708 at private California universities.
Cal Grant B, effective 2001-02 academic year - Must meet financial and basic eligibility requirements, including minimum 2.0 grade-point average and graduation from high school in 2000-01 or later. Award amounts include up to $1,551 for books and living expenses for the first year. Students admitted to the CSU, UC or a private four-year college will receive tuition and fee awards in subsequent years in addition to the $1,551.
California Community College Transfer Entitlement Program, effective 2002-03 - Must meet financial and basic eligibility requirements, including a minimum 2.4 California community college GPA, and graduation from high school in 2000-01 or later. Grant amounts are full fees at CSU and UC (tuition support at private California universities), plus $1,551 for books and living expenses for those meeting Cal Grant B financial requirements.
Also, the new legislation created the Competitive Cal Grant A and B award programs which will provide 22,500 grants on a competitive basis to continuing college students and re-entry students who do not qualify for an entitlement. The distinction, Herndon said, is that students must compete for these awards.
In addition to the academic qualifications, students must meet income eligibility requirements. These range from $23,500 annual income for recipients who are independent to $74,100 for students from families of six or more. The income ceiling for a family of four is $64,100 for students who receive Cal Grant A awards and $33,700 for students who receive Cal Grant B awards.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for high school students in our service area to pursue a dream they may have considered out of reach financially," Arciniega said. "What the new Cal Grant entitlement program means is that if you qualify for admission to Cal State Bakersfield, you will be able to come. This can change the lives of thousands of young people in our region."
Applications for the Cal Grant Entitlement awards are now being accepted at the CSUB Financial Aid Office. For details about the Cal Grant Entitlement program, please call the CSUB Financial Aid Office at 661/664-3016.