Cal Grant GPA Increases Would Hurt College Completion Rates

Since Governor Brown released his proposed 2012-13 budget three weeks ago, we’ve delved further into what the proposed Cal Grant cuts would mean for California’s students and families. Our further analysis reveals just how damaging one of the cuts – which would raise the grade point averages needed to qualify for Cal Grants – would be.

The dramatic changes proposed by Governor Brown would lock out more than a third of applicants currently eligible for entitlement grants. These are students who have worked hard and earned the grades that the state has long promised entitled them to participate in California’s primary student aid program. These are also the students, research shows, for whom financial aid may make the biggest difference in terms of helping them persist and succeed in college. As they finally reach the point where they are ready to go to college, many will find their dreams shattered.

Three out of four applicants cut out would be prospective Cal Grant B students, who on average have family incomes well below the poverty line. And the majority of these students go to community colleges, where students receive too little aid and are already less likely to receive state grants.

At a time when the nation needs more college graduates, cutting financial aid for the students who most need it to succeed is penny-wise and pound-foolish. See more details on how this cut would affect California’s students and their families here.

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