Friday, June 5, 2015

UC and that Middle Class Scholarship - talk of major changes

and other potential changes for UC's financial aid for non CA residents, see: Assets of middle-class scholarship recipients draw scrutiny
Long Beach Press Telegram with an AP article

The competing proposals will have to be worked out by a budget committee comprised of representatives from both houses. The committee also is debating the Senate's desire to offer financial incentives to low-income Cal State students who are on track to graduate in four years and is taking a critical look at the University of California's practice of awarding in-house financial aid to students from outside California.

UC President Janet Napolitano, who has agreed to freeze in-state tuition rates for two more years as part of a budget compromise with the governor, said in an interview she was willing to review the system's financial aid policy for non-residents.

If the middle-class scholarship for Californians is eliminated or overhauled, she said she hopes some of the savings will go toward enrollment growth at the nine UC undergraduate campuses.

"We all understand and appreciate the squeeze the middle class is in," Napolitano said. "However, after the first year of the scholarship ... obviously it was going in places it wasn't originally intended."

The scholarship program was approved two years ago as part of a budget compromise between Brown and Democratic lawmakers to benefit Cal State and University of California students with family incomes up to $150,000. At least 85,475 students, or 21 percent of applicants, have been awarded amounts averaging $584 for a CSU student and $1,206 for those attending UC.

But the April analysis by the California Student Aid Commission revealed that a number of families had incomes exceeding $150,000 a year. It said 278 had assets worth more than $2 million — even though the value of a homeowner's primary residence was not factored into the calculations.

The vast majority of scholarship recipients did not report having significant family resources beyond earnings, and 59 percent had household incomes below $100,000,

Still, the number with assets that could be deemed considerable even in pricey California has raised questions about whether the money could be better spent elsewhere.

(The Napolitano interview they reference is the KQED interview also available/listed in the previous post.)

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