July 28, 2021
California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed higher education legislation this week that expands student financial aid, creates new transfer pathways and provides grants for workers displaced by the coronavirus pandemic.
The legislation is part of the governor’s plan to help rebuild California’s economy after the health crisis, and it invests $47.1 billion for higher education.
Although the measure means to increase access to the state’s public colleges, its university systems are contending with an ongoing capacity crisis.
Thanks to an unexpected surplus, California is injecting more money into higher ed.
For one, the legislation makes major investments in student grants. It grows the state’s banner financial aid program, the Cal Grant, for community college students by removing eligibility requirements that bar older adults from participating. Lawmakers estimated that the change, which takes effect in the 2021-22 academic year, will result in an additional 133,000 community college students becoming eligible for the grants, EdSource reported in June.