“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of college students and operations of the institutions that serve them. Enrollment and financial aid applications remain down, particularly among BIPOC students and students from low-income households and at the community colleges that disproportionately serve them. At this critical time, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2022-23 state budget proposal is rightly focused on closing education equity gaps by race and income, and better supporting students to and through their programs.
“For the first time, the Governor is establishing a statewide postsecondary attainment goal for California. He has set an ambitious target of 70 percent of all working adults having a postsecondary certificate or degree by 2030. We appreciate that the Governor’s proposed budget acknowledges that in order to accomplish that goal, California’s students must have truly equitable, affordable access to high-quality programs.
“The budget proposal outlines an equitable completion agenda that includes multi-year agreements with all three public segments of state higher education, targeting significant new investments toward ensuring a more timely and affordable education, increasing access for Californians to enroll in and transfer to the CSU and UC systems, and tracking student outcomes closely through their participation in the new Cradle-to-Career data system. Investments made in the 2021-22 budget will allow the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (BPPE) to contribute private college data to the Cradle-to-Career data system, and we hope the state will also prioritize equitable student outcomes at private colleges in the same way the budget outlines for public colleges.
“To meet its ambitious new attainment goal, California must also continue prioritizing expanded access to increased state financial aid. That aid must aspire to meet students’ financial need up to the full cost of attendance by increasing support for non-tuition costs. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to build on last year’s historic expansion of the Cal Grant program by further simplifying the grants, removing barriers to access based on GPA at community colleges, and indexing the access award to inflation. Proposed investments in the Middle Class Scholarship and Student Success Completion Grants provide an opportunity to refine programs and ensure new resources are directed to students with the most need to make the biggest impact on access and success.
“Access to higher education will play a vital role in an equitable recovery from the ongoing pandemic. We thank the Governor for his long-time leadership on higher education and look forward to building on today’s proposals in the months ahead.”
The Institute for College Access & Success is a trusted source of research, design, and advocacy for student-centered public policies that promote affordability, accountability, and equity in higher education. For more information see www.ticas.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.