Proposal to toughen Cal Grant requisites
Published: Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, July 12, 2012 15:07
Gov. Jerry Brown submitted a proposal to the California Senate and the Assembly of the California Legislature on Jan. 5, increasing the grade point average requirement for students receiving Cal Grants.
According to Erik Fallis, Cal State University spokesperson, the grade point average requirement for Cal Grant "A," which focuses more on academic performance and less on income, would rise from 3.0 to 3.25 while the GPA requirement for Cal Grant "B," which focuses more heavily on income, would rise from 2.0 to 2.75.
According to Gregory Washington, president of the California State Students Association, the newrequirements would go into effect immediately with no phase-in plan.
Only new applicants and entering students would be affected by this change. Students who already have a Cal Grant wouldn't be affected as long as they still qualify when they apply each year, said Nick Valdivia, director of financial aid. The biggest impact will be on next year's new class, he said.
According to Fallis, 70,700 CSU students received a Cal Grant during the 2010-11 academic year and half of all CSU students receive enough financial aid to cover all of their tuition.
However, "people may lose their financial aid because of [this possible change]," Fallis said.
Fallis said it is not possible for a student to raise his or her GPA so much in just one semester. He said, because of this, more students would be shifted from the Cal Grant, which is not a limited fund program, to the state university grant, which is a limited fund program. During the 2010-11 school year, 125,700 CSU students received a state university grant.
"Personally, it doesn't affect me because, no matter what, I try my best at school," sophomore political science major and Cal Grant recipient Oliver Do said.
He said he thinks this change would largely affect students with jobs, and students need every penny they can get.
Washington said he thinks the proposal would be a drastic change for students. He said it would be hard on students who have a lot of responsibilities, like work.
"I think it's only fair," sophomore design major and Cal Grant recipient Tanya Flores said.
She said students who get better grades should get the grants.
Fallis said the possible change in requirements is mainly a budgetary issue. He said the state is willing to put less into higher education over time but that "costs at the university are not going up."
The Board of Trustees and the CSU Administration are concerned about the possible change, Fallis said.
He called the situation an "erosion of state support."
According to Fallis, the state of California has not made higher education and students a priority. He said that the state has failed to invest in students.