AFT Giuild

Help more California students afford college

Subject: CALPIRG : Help more California students afford college

Dear CALPIRG supporter,

College students are going deeper in debt and working longer hours to
pay
for school. Their parents are feeling the same pressures.

Financial aid is the only way for some families to afford a college education. That's why it's so troubling that 70,000 eligible students
did not receive a need-based Cal Grant last year because of the bureaucratic application process. We're working to pass a bill, AB 1241 (Mathews), which would simplify the application process so that all financially eligible students receive the financial aid they need. The bill faces important votes in the California Assembly next week.

Please take a moment to ask your Assemblymember to support the passage of AB 1241. Then ask your family and friends to help by forwarding this e-mail to them.

To take action, click on this link Calperg:
Background:

The Ortiz-Pacheco-Poochigian-Vasconcellos Cal Grant Act was established in 2000 with bipartisan support to increase grant aid to financially needy students pursuing undergraduate studies at California's colleges and universities. Tens of thousands of Californians have benefited from the program since 2000.

Cal Grant awards cover the cost of student fees. The most needy students also receive a modest "access" grant, which can be used for educational expenses like books, materials, housing and transportation.
Eligibility is based on students' expected family contributions and GPAs. To apply, a student must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) to the Department of Education and a GPA Verification Form certified by their high school to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). Existing law requires high schools to certify the GPAs of their students by March 2.

Many students do not know they are required to submit a GPA Verification
Form to CSAC in order to apply for a Cal Grant and therefore do not ask
their high school to do so. As a result, approximately 70,000 otherwise
eligible students were denied a Cal Grant last year.

AB 1241, authored by Assemblymember Barbara Matthews, would improve the Cal Grant application process in three ways. Specifically, it would:

1) Require CSAC to provide all high schools with forms that, once signed
by students, allow the high schools to release the student's GPA to CSAC.

2) Require high schools to distribute the forms to all potentially eligible seniors.

3) Require CSAC to report to the Legislature annually, the number
of seniors' GPAs they received from each school district. Rising college costs and diminishing federal student aid are forcing students in California to borrow larger amounts of money and work longer hours to afford a college education. Help us reverse this trend.

Please take a moment to ask your Assemblymember to support the passage of AB 1241. Then ask your family and friends to help by forwarding this e-mail to
them. To take action, click on this link or paste it into your web browser: http://calpirg.org/CA.asp?id=403&id4=ES
Sincerely,

Steve Blackledge CALPIRG Legislative Director SteveB@calpirg.org
http://www.CALPIRG.org
P.S.  Thanks again for your support.  Please feel free to share this e-mail with your family and friends.