TICAS Statement on Proposed 2022-23 California Budget

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the lives of college students and the institutions that serve them. Financial aid applications remain down, particularly among BIPOC students and students from low-income households, and enrollment remains down at the community colleges that disproportionately serve them. During 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 graduation.

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. We hope to work with the Legislature and the Governor in the coming months to ensure that the final budget also includes additional investments in the Cal Grant, the cornerstone of California financial aid.

Read our full statement
Read more in the Los Angeles Times

Cal Grant Reform Act Ensures More Equitable Access to Higher Education

Earlier this month, Assemblymembers Jose Medina, Kevin McCarty, and Senator Connie Leyva introduced the Cal Grant Reform Act (AB 1746), which would expand on last year’s historic investments in the community college Cal Grant entitlement program.

AB 1746 would remove additional barriers to grant eligibility, simplify the grant program, and index the award to inflation. With FAFSA completion and college enrollment down since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, these reforms are more urgent than ever to support California’s long-term educational attainment and economic and social wellbeing. The bill is supported by the California Student Aid Commission and the Fix Financial Aid Coalition, among others.

Read the statement

TICAS Thanks the CCCCO’s Board of Governors for Protecting Students

Last year, we were deeply troubled to learn of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Community College Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) with American Public University System (APUS), which created a pathway for community college students to transfer to the for-profit institution. We, along with partners, shared our concerns about the deal with the Board of Governors and the Chancellor’s Office along with recommendations for criteria to evaluate future potential agreements.

At the most recent Board of Governors meeting, the Chancellor’s Office announced the termination of the MOU with APUS.  We thank the Chancellor’s Office and the Board of Governors for dissolving the agreement and look forward to continued collaboration with the CCCCO and Board on these issues.

Read public comments from TICAS Director of Policy & Advocacy Angela Perry
Read more in EdSource

TICAS Supports Confirmation of Debbie Cochrane as BPPE Chief

We strongly endorse the appointment of Debbie Cochrane to serve as the Bureau Chief for the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education. A long-time higher education advocate, Ms. Cochrane has worked tirelessly for the students of California throughout her career, and her time thus far as Bureau Chief has proved the wisdom of her appointment with a notable increase in the Bureau’s responsiveness, transparency, and proactivity.

Read our letter of support

Federal Update: Negotiated Rulemaking for Higher Education 2021-22

Beginning in October 2021, negotiators and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) have engaged in the negotiated rulemaking (“neg reg”) process, through which ED works with a group of external stakeholders to try and find consensus on proposed higher education regulations.

This fall’s Affordability and Student Loans Committee  focused on student loan issues, including borrower defense to repayment, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and income-driven repayment programs, as well as rules to expand Pell eligibility to incarcerated students. The committee reached consensus on four out of 12 topics (consensus required zero dissenting votes), including Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Discharge, Pell Grant Eligibility for Prison Education Programs, False Certified Discharge, and Interest Capitalization.

From January to March 2022, members of the Institutional and Programmatic Eligibility Committee will convene as part of a second portion of negotiations. Picking back up this week, these sessions will focus on key accountability and institutional quality regulations, including gainful employment, closing the 90/10 loophole for for-profit college revenues, standards of financial responsibility for colleges, and changes of institutional ownership.

Read our blog series recapping each neg reg session

The Impact of COVID-19 on Black Students

We’re honoring Black History Month by featuring Black voices and focusing on issues that impact Black Americans most.

With support from the Michelson 20MM Foundation, we surveyed nearly 900 students in California across all sectors on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their budgets, finding almost all students’ finances have changed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the pandemic’s financial strain has disproportionately impacted Black students. Although emergency financial aid funds helped lessen the blow, basic needs insecurity remained a major obstacle for too many students.⁠

Learn more about the survey
See more #BHM highlights on Instagram

We’re Hiring!

TICAS is looking for a dynamic Director to lead its policy and advocacy strategy on behalf of historically marginalized students of color and those from low-income backgrounds in California. The Director of California College Affordability will manage the state college affordability portfolio, represent TICAS in meetings with policymakers, experts, and advocates, and help lead coalition efforts to advance goals like increasing and reforming Cal Grants in the state.

Visit ticas.org/careers to learn more and spread the word!

Coalition Letters & Letters of Support