By Katherine Valadez |Staff Writer|
Fewer Cal Grants may be given out if changes proposed by California Governor Jerry Brown in the grade point average requirements for the awards are finalized.
In his proposed 2012-2013 budget, the minimum grade point average requirement for Cal Grant A would increase from 3.0 to 3.25.
“Cal Grant “A” currently covers tuition up to $5,472 at Cal State universities, up to $12,192 at the University of California and up to $9,708 toward tuition and fees at private colleges,” reported the L.A. Times.
The proposal would affect many students across California, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The change would apply to incoming freshman and transfer students.
“About 26,600 prospective UC, Cal State and community college students would be affected by the changes in grade point averages in the 2012-2013 academic year,” reported the L.A. Times.
Under Gov. Brown’s proposals, the GPA requirements for Cal Grant B also would be affected. The minimum requirement would jump from 2.0 to 2.75.
Cal Grant B is awarded to students from lower-income households. These students typically attend community colleges.
The award provides $1,551 for books, living expenses and tuition assistance.
“Many students could be awarded provisional grants, only to have them canceled,” reported the L.A. Times.
The governor also has proposed to cut the amounts awarded to students who choose to attend private universities, which could reduce the number of lower-income students able to attend those schools.
The proposal could also translate into a reduction of students able to attend private universities.
At CSUSB, students have different thoughts regarding the changes.
Some believe the changes won’t have much of an affect.
“It seems like not a lot of people here have a Cal Grant, besides me, only one of my friends receives one,” said Avram Jimenez student.
Others support the governor’s move, but not on the basis of reducing state cost.
“I work my butt off to get my grades and there’s other people barely passing classes and still getting the same grant as me,” said Tiffany Alvardo, a nursing student at CSUSB. “But if he just raises the GPA and doesn’t raise the amount given, then I don’t agree with it.”
The financial aid application deadline is March 2, but the state budget will not be finalized until after that date.
This means many students would have to confirm their college decisions while unsure of their financial aid status.