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Kristen Soares Statement Regarding Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2019-20 Budget Release

On behalf of the 330,000 students attending the independent, nonprofit colleges and universities, the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) applauds Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019-20, as released this morning. The proposal reflects his commitment to California higher education access and affordability, including maintaining the maximum Cal Grant award for students attending independent, nonprofit institutions. In addition, AICCU supports efforts to strengthen the Associate Degree for Transfer pathway to the independent, nonprofit sector, as part of our deep commitment to serve California community college students.

Student recipients of the Cal Grant award often times must overcome significant odds to apply, qualify, and attend the college or university that best suits their needs. By protecting the maximum Cal Grant award for these deserving students in the coming academic year and avoiding the uncertainty that reductions create, the Governor’s budget is helping to ensure we give families and students the opportunity to plan for college and persist once they begin. While AICCU supports the Governor’s dedication to low-income students and new student-parents, we will work to ensure our Cal Grant student-parent community has the same availability of Cal Grant access award as their counterparts attending a public institution. The Cal Grant program has and should continue to fund students and not institutions, to protect the program pillars of portability, access, and success.

AICCU is also ready to explore the feasibility of greater data sharing among all education sectors in the state. A data system would allow the state and educational institutions to monitor student progress from pre-school into the workforce. AICCU recognizes the challenges presented with the lack of longitudinal data. Our association will work with the state to ensure the independent, nonprofit sector is part of a statewide data system that will ease some of these challenges.

We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure all California students have access to affordable higher education that best fits their unique and individual needs. We know the independent sector plays a key role in serving students and fulfilling the needs of the state’s workforce, and we will work vigorously to ensure our contributions are better understood.

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The Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) is comprised of 83 independent, nonprofit colleges and universities, which make up the Independent California Colleges and Universities (ICCU) sector. The ICCU sector plays a pivotal role in the development of the state’s model higher education offerings and in making California a symbol of innovation across the globe. Within California, ICCU institutions award over 20 percent of all undergraduate degrees and over 50 percent of graduate degrees, making them the largest preparers of California’s advanced workforce.

Contacts: Kristen Soares – (916) 446-7626

Aram Nadjarian – (323) 533-4523

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