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Cal Grants rise to meet higher fees
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Student recipients of the Cal Grant will see an increase in their financial aid to offset the recent student fee increases enacted by the California State University Board of Trustees.
The California Student Aid Commission announced Friday that they would cover the $672 per student increase, on top of the $306 fee increase approved by the trustees in May.
The CSU Board of Trustees voted to raise student fees by 20 percent at a budget meeting on July 21. A third of the money generated by the fee increase — $79 million — will be used for financial aid.
The commission had already stated that the Cal Grants would cover the 10 percent fee increase approved in May, but until Friday it was uncertain if the additional 20 percent fee increase would be paid.
“Many of California’s neediest students depend on Cal Grant awards to make college a reality,” said Allison G. Jones, CSU assistant vice chancellor for student academic support. “This increase means that CSU campuses can continue to provide low- and middle-income students affordable access to higher education.”
There are 62,600 Cal Grant A and B recipients attending a CSU campus.
The CSU Financial Aid Office estimates that more than 187,000 CSU students will pay no fee increase through offsets by the State University Grants, federal grants, CSU fee waivers, and newly expanded federal tax credits. The CSU is the largest recipient of federal Pell Awards, and the federal stimulus package will provide an additional $81 million for 120,000 of the CSU’s students, according to university officials.
Federal Pell Grant recipients will receive an increase of $619, and federal higher education tax credits should help families cover expenses other than the State University Fee.
After factoring in all available sources of financial aid, CSU students from families making $75,000 or less will pay no fees, while other students, including those from families making up to $180,000, will qualify for financial aid and tax credits, according to CSU officials.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.