Press Release/Statement | October 16, 2019

REPORT: Charting the Course for Redesigning Financial Aid in California

Oakland, CA – The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) today released a report, Charting the Course for Redesigning Financial Aid in California, with newly detailed recommendations for how California policymakers should move forward to strengthen college affordability through meaningful and equitable financial aid reform.

“While college affordability is a clear priority for Governor Newsom, and financial aid reform the subject of legislation in the state Senate and Assembly, key policy details have remained uncertain,” said Debbie Cochrane, TICAS executive vice president. “These recommendations reflect the input of a wide variety of experts and stakeholders and together form the North Star that can guide new state investments, both large and small.”

As detailed in the report, equitable financial aid reform will require that the state:

  • Improve the Accuracy of Colleges’ Cost Estimates
  • Set Reasonable Financial Expectations for Families and for Students
  • Ensure Reasonable Non-Financial Eligibility Terms for Students
  • Remove Unnecessary and Outdated Barriers to Financial Aid
  • Communicate Effectively with Students and Families

Recognizing broad consensus that the state’s financial aid programs need to cover more low-income students as well as support students in covering their total college costs, TICAS convened a working group of experts and stakeholders to help shape and refine policy details needed to create a debt-free pathway through public colleges and universities. While the working group’s deliberations were off the record, and reaching consensus was not an explicit goal, the recommendations documented in the report reflect the conversations and, in many instances, general agreement amongst participants.

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