“The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of college students and the institutions that serve them. At this pivotal time, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget proposal would make smart, urgently needed investments to help struggling students afford and complete college. These include a substantial increase in the number of Cal Grants available to older students, larger grants for current and former foster youth, and resources for emergency financial aid. Investments to focus colleges’ efforts on improving graduation rates and reengaging students who have withdrawn will bolster needed supports for the most at-risk students, while investments in the continued development of the state’s Cradle-to-Career data system will ensure that the state has the ability to track progress in closing equity gaps further exacerbated by the crisis.
“The divided economic recovery is leaving many of the most vulnerable Californians behind, and equitable higher education opportunity and outcomes must be part of the solution. We look forward to working with the Newsom administration and the California Legislature over the coming months to see many of these proposals – along with others designed to help students struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and address longstanding financial aid inequities – refined and enacted.”
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