While a national policy on higher education has yet to be decided, it’s clear where California stands. On Monday, the state’s Democrats released a financial-aid plan that covers both tuition and living expenses, with the end goal of eliminating student loans among 400,000 students enrolled in the University of California and California State systems.
In a statewide survey conducted last year, nearly three-quarters of Californians identified college costs as a major barrier to higher education. Another 82 percent expressed support for additional scholarships and grants.
The proposed plan satisfies this desire by providing grants to community-college students and subsidizing their first year’s tuition. In addition, all college students will retain access to Cal Grants, federal Pell Grants, university grants, and Middle Class Scholarships. With this additional aid, lawmakers say they hope students will have enough funding to cover the cost of textbooks, transportation, and overall living, which make up the bulk of attendance costs at UC institutions.
Although students are expected to contribute by working part-time, the proposed scholarship takes care of the average cost of tuition: around $21,000 a year at Cal State schools and $33,000 a year at UC schools. Parents who earn over $60,000 annually are expected to help with their child’s education.