$olving the Problem?

Senate Bill 291 can create financial opportunities for future students.

$olving the Problem?

Levi Herrera, Senior Staff Writer

In February, Sen. Connie M. Leyva, D-Chino, introduced Senate Bill 291.The bill provides California community college student financial aid that would cover the cost of tuition and would include basic housing, transportation and textbooks.

According to the California Legislative Information website: “California’s community colleges offer one of the least expensive tuition rates in the country. Still, the total amount of money spent by students and taxpayers to attain a particular outcome at a community college can be quite high.”

Many students spend several years in California community colleges to receive a certificate, degree or to transfer to a four-year university. Furthermore, many federal student aid programs are designed to help full-time students, while the average community college student attends part-time.

The Institute for College Access and Success found that after receiving help from financial aid, the net cost of community college turned out to be more expensive for students.
California has led the nation in innovative programs, the most-recognized being the California College Promise Grant, which waives tuition of 50 percent of students; according to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Although many students get their financial tuition waived off, they still have to cover non-tuition expenses. Non-tuition costs make up the majority of student expenses.

Many innovative programs focus on reducing tuition, which is half of the financial problem. Financial aid in California should help cover the true costs of college. The SB 291 would help students reduce financial challenges faced every semester.

It is time California Community Colleges begin getting better opportunities and options when it comes to financial aid. The SB 291 bill would bring equality in the financial aid system. Students should be focusing on their education instead of worrying about college expenses.

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office created TrueCollegeCost.com, a website that provides a way for students and concerned individuals to reach out to their legislators directly by emailing them and/or tagging them on Twitter.

Let your voice be heard and speak up about the benefits that the Senate Bill 291 could bring to California community colleges. Each voice can make an impact for a better future.