Statement by the Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities (AICCU) Regarding Governor Jerry Brown’s January Budget
Sacramento, CA – January 10, 2017 – The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) is deeply disappointed Governor Brown chose to pull the trigger on an 11.3% cut to the maximum Cal Grant award to low-income students who choose to attend a private, nonprofit institution. The cut of $1,028 to every new high school graduate and community college transfer per year is devastating to California’s most vulnerable families.
There has been a strong state and national focus to improve college affordability and this budget puts higher education further out of reach for select low-income California students. This Cal Grant cut to new students means they will have to work more, take on more debt, or forego attending higher education all together. While this cut is devastating to families who on average earn about $40,000 annually, it would only take 0.07% of the state budget to restore this cut. This is a small investment by the state in disadvantaged students to better their futures, and would reap significant benefits for the state by addressing its workforce development needs and strengthening its economy.
California’s private nonprofit colleges and universities enroll over 27,000 Cal Grant students annually, reflecting the rich diversity of the state, and provides regional access to 69 undergraduate campuses throughout the State. AICCU institutions serve over 188,000 undergraduate students.
“We will work vigorously with the Legislature to reverse the cut to the maximum Cal Grant award for low-income students, to ensure that every California student has the opportunity to choose the college campus of their dreams,” said Kristen Soares, AICCU President. “AICCU institutions have a deep commitment to educating students from all backgrounds and we will work with our legislators to support all students. This penny wise and pound foolish proposal must be reversed. The future workforce of California depends upon it.”