FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Ryan Morimune, (916) 319-2014
March 5, 2015 [email protected]
Bonilla Introduces The College Opportunity Act to Ensure Student Access and Cal Grant Parity
SACRAMENTO – Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) has introduced legislation to provide families fairness and predictability as they plan for college. AB 831, the College Opportunity Act, reverses proposed cuts to the Cal Grant, which is the state’s largest financial aid program. The bill also links Cal Grant award amounts for students attending private, nonprofit institutions to the average cost of educating a Cal Grant student at a four-yearpublic institution.
“Cal Grants give academically deserving students the opportunity to go to college, who otherwise would not be able to attend,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “It is imperative that we support our students in order to ensure the success of our state.”
Since 2000, the Cal Grant award amount for students attending private institutions has not been linked to any funding formula, making it vulnerable to cuts, and resulting in a 37% decline in value. Last year, the Governor proposed an additional 11% cut to the Cal Grant for students attending private, nonprofit colleges. Assemblywoman Bonilla led efforts to prevent these proposed cuts, however they were only postponed for a year. The proposed 11% cut will take effect this July if no action is taken.
“Private nonprofit colleges, such as the University of San Diego, Saint Mary’s College, and the University of the Pacific, play a critical role in meeting the state’s demand for higher education,” continued Assemblywoman Bonilla. “Any reduction to the Cal Grant will close off this option for students, placing further strain on public institutions which have limited space and resources.”
Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla (D-Concord) was elected in November 2010 and represents California’s 14th Assembly District, which includes Contra Costa County and Solano County.
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