Streamlining State Financial Aid: Report on Cal Grant Alternative Delivery Pilot
December 5, 2011
Legislation in 2009 authorized a pilot program whereby college and university campuses could voluntarily administer certain Cal Grant programs that are normally administered centrally by the Student Aid Commission (CSAC). The CSAC developed regulations for the pilot in time for the 2010-11 academic year. No campuses volunteered to participate, however, due to cumbersome program requirements. This report provides background on the existing delivery model for financial aid programs; describes recent proposals for alternative delivery models; and chronicles the development, implementation, and outcomes of the pilot program. The report concludes with our recommendation, drawing on numerous studies over the last two decades, to decentralize Cal Grants through a process that includes a planning period but no pilot phase.