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Press Release

Recent California High School Graduates Have New Student Aid Incentives to Prepare for College

Public Information
California Postsecondary Education Commission
1303 J Street, Suite 500
Sacramento, California 95814-2938

September 11, 2000 - Sacramento -The Postsecondary Education Commission lauded the signing into law today by Governor Gray Davis of two bills -- Senate Bills 1644 and 1688 -- that will provide financial incentives to new California high school graduates who have done well in high school and are planning to attend a college or university in California.

"The Governor's merit scholarship program and the new Cal Grant Entitlement Program send a clear and unmistakable message to high school students interested in pursuing a college education," said Warren H. Fox, Executive Director of the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC), at the signing of the two bills.

Fox said that these two measures combined encourage students to study hard and earn good grades in high school and, in return, rewards those in need with aid to attend a college or university in California.

Senate Bill 1644 represents landmark legislation for California: It revamps the State's current statewide financial aid program -- the Cal Grant Program -- and creates an entitlement program guaranteeing a grant or scholarship award to future California high school graduates who demonstrate financial need and earn at least a C grade point average in their high school course work. Senate Bill 1688 provides financial awards of up to $5,500 for college costs to those high school students who are the highest scorers on the State's standardized STAR examinations and on advanced placement examinations in mathematics and science.

Fox stated that the Postsecondary Education Commission has long supported increasing educational opportunity through a more robust student aid program to ensure access to the State's public and independent colleges and universities.

"This expanded Cal Grant program and the Governor's Merit Scholarship program will enable many students desirous of going on to college to realize their dreams. Students who do well in the classroom will have a future of choices that they may not have thought possible," Fox said.

During the coming months, the Commission will analyze the impact these new incentives have on the State's future estimates of college enrollments and the adequacy of these programs in meeting the financial need of all California college and university students.

The California Postsecondary Education Commission is the State's planning and coordinating organization for higher education. The Commission consists of 16 members, nine of whom represent the general public, five who represent the major systems of California education (the California Community Colleges, the California State University, the University of California, the independent colleges and universities, and the State Board of Education), and two student representatives.

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