Phil Ting’s Bill Helps Thousands of Students Get Financial Aid
California is already home to a revolutionary type of state-funded financial aid for students: Cal Grant.
Cal Grants are the largest source of California State funded aid and help over 100,000 qualifying students receive the financial assistance they need to succeed in higher education.
Until last year, a flaw in the application process deprived thousands of qualified students from completing the final step in the application process, and kept them from getting the financial aid they needed – and deserved.
In 2013, about 50,000 Cal Grant applications were not considered because the GPA could not be verified.
But in February 2014, Assemblyman Phil Ting authored AB 2160, a bill that required all high schools in California to electronically submit GPA verification of all graduating high school seniors to the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC).
Until then, very few schools in California submitted students’ GPA verifications automatically; many schools required a student request to submit them, and others did not submit them at all.
In the Bay Area, only 128 out of the 320 high schools submitted students’ GPA verifications automatically.
And The Good News is: It’s Working
In the law’s first year, electronic GPA submissions are already up about 10 percent–that’s an estimated increase of almost 40,000 high school students that could be eligible to receive college tuition help.
The daunting college application process can be exhausting for students and their families. Applying for state funded aid is often another step in an already convoluted process.
“We want to do everything possible to streamline that process,” Phil Ting said.
“We’re trying to take one more barrier out of their way.”