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Other Budget Issues

Last Updated: 1/24/2010
Budget Issue: Cal Grant Competitive Awards Program
Program: Student Aid Commission
Finding or Recommendation: Recommend Legislature consider alternatives to Governor's proposed suspension of competitive Cal Grant awards. Alternatives for achieving General Fund savings include: 1) Increase minimum GPA for Cal Grant B eligibility from 2.0 to 2.5. 2) Eliminate non-need-based fee waivers. 3) Limit new competitive awards to fixed stipends ("access awards") These measures could provide comparable savings while preserving the structure of the state's financial aid system.
Further Detail

Prioritize Cal Grant Competitive Program

In order to maintain the state’s commitment to affordability in higher education, we recommend the Legislature seek alternatives to the Governor's proposed suspension of the Cal Grant competitive program. Alternatives that collectively could achieve similar General Fund savings include:

Increase minimum GPA for Cal Grant B eligibility from 2.0 to 2.5.
Students with GPA of 2.0 have extremely low rates of persistence and success in college. ($13 million, 13,500 students)

Eliminate non-need-based fee waivers.
State financial aid resources should be targeted to students who could not otherwise afford college. ($20 million, 5,000 students)

Limit new competitive grants to fixed stipends ("access awards").
This saves the majority of new grant funds while reducing, but not eliminating, awards for a minority of grant recipients. ($25 million)

For additional information, see this handout.