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Student Funding Bill Goes to Governor

Senate Bill 957, legislation authored by Senator Curren D. Price Jr. (D-Los Angeles) passed out of the Legislature and now goes to the Governor for his signature. The bill gives priority in granting Cal Grant C awards to students pursuing occupations or technical training in high growth, high wage or high demand job sectors.

Current law established by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) requires that Cal Grant C awards be used only for occupational or technical training, but it is silent on how to best prioritize the awarding of Cal Grant C funds.

SB 957 will require the CSAC to strategically direct Cal Grant C funds to recipients seeking occupations with high employment demand, growth potential, wages, and/or importance to California’s strategic initiatives.

Additionally, SB 957 would require CSAC to develop and regularly update the areas of occupational and technical training for which students may utilize Cal Grant C awards. This requirement will ensure alignment with the state’s dynamic economic needs.

CSAC, in consultation with appropriate state and federal agencies, employers and businesses, representatives of organized labor and occupational and technical training providers, will develop and regularly update areas of occupational and technical training for which students may utilize the Cal Grant C awards, under this bill.

“We have got to be strategic in utilizing our resources to help prepare our students to enter the workforce,” said Senator Price. “We won’t need to continue to send jobs overseas if we prepare our own citizens to perform these high in demand jobs right here.”

This legislation is part of the President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg’s “Agenda 2010,” which is a 27-bill package to help jumpstart a stalled economy by creating 140,000 jobs for Californians.

Cal Grant C awards assist with tuition and training costs for occupational, technical, and vocational programs. The award includes up to $576 for books, tools and equipment — and up to $2,592 more for tuition and fees towards attending a school other than a California Community College (community colleges don’t charge tuition and fees will be waived for a Cal Grant recipient). Funding is available for up to two years, depending on the length of the program. To qualify, a student must enroll in a occupational, technical, or vocational program that is at least four months long at a California Community College, an independent college, or a vocational/career school. Even though a GPA is not required to apply for a Cal Grant C, students are still encouraged to submit them because it can only raise the chances of receiving an award.

In order to determine an applicant’s eligibility for a Cal Grant C, additional information must be provided on the Cal Grant C Supplement form. Supplements are scored based on work experience, educational history and vocational aptitude.

Cal Grant C award offers will be made by the end of June.

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