Local Legislator’s Cal Grants Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk

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CA capitalGarcia’s bill would increase access to financial aid for California students

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s (D-Coachella) Cal Grants Legislation passed the State Assembly today and will now head to the Governor’s desk .   The bill will streamline California’s financial aid process and increase Cal Grant and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application completion rates in California.

“After listening to our students and educators in the district regarding the struggles they are having in accessing financial aid funds—something needed to be done.  AB 1091 will help eliminate administrative barriers for students and enhance access to the financial aid students need to attend college,” said Assemblyman Garcia.

Assemblymember Garcia’s AB 1091 legislation, if signed by the Governor will authorize the California State Aid Commission to require verification of high school graduation to be electronically submitted for high school graduates for the purpose of determining financial aid eligibility.

“In the California Community College system, approximately 40% of the students are first-generation students and research indicates that there is a high correlation between being a first-generation student and eligibility for student financial aid. The simpler processes are for students, the greater participation rates will be reflected in higher education,” said Martha O. Garcia, Ed.D., Special Projects Coordinator for Imperial Valley College

AB 1091 will also allow the Commission to develop, and make available on its Internet Web site to each school district for the district’s use, a standard report that lists the names of all grade 12 pupils within the school district who have and have not completed the FAFSA or the California Dream Act application.

“Any action that will streamline the financial aid process for our children is a step in the right direction and we look forward to the Governor signing Assemblymember Garcia’s bill,” said Ernie Rios, Executive Director of the Pathways to Success Program for the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership.