Coalition Letter | April 14, 2022

Coalition Letter to the California State Assembly Committee on Higher Education Opposing AB 2572

Robust and equitable state financial aid programs are a vital resource for California’s students, and Californians have long faced college affordability challenges, which the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated. We share the focused concern for adult learners with some college education but no degree behind AB 2572 (Rubio), many of whom face structural barriers in accessing financial aid and returning to college. However, AB 2572 would add unnecessary complexity to our state financial aid programs and incentivize students to enroll in unproven exclusively-online programs. Additionally, California has limited oversight authority over in-state nonprofit institutions, and virtually no current authority over nonprofit institutions based out-of-state and operating online in California. That lack of transparency and accountability, coupled with the dramatic ability of online programs to expand student enrollment, raises the likelihood that more students will receive a substandard education, substantial debt, and no significant increase in job opportunities. We believe that California’s students will be best served by a stronger Cal Grant, and that proposals included in AB 2572 will have unintended consequences and expose the state and California’s students to unnecessary risk. For these reasons, TICAS and our partners oppose AB 2572 and strongly recommend that the legislature focus the state’s resources on expanding need-based financial aid for students attending California’s high-quality public institutions.