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Report 03-4: Commission Recommendations Concerning Alternate Delivery Options for the State's Cal Grant Program

Published by The California Postsecondary Education Commission

February 2003

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In September 2002, the California Legislature adopted Supplemental Report Language (SRL) directing the California Postsecondary Education Commission (CPEC) to convene a task force to examine alternative delivery systems for the State’s Cal Grant program. This report responds to that request and offers a series of recommendations concerning changes in the delivery of Cal Grant awards. Although the recommendations contained in the report were informed by the discussions of the task force, the recommendations themselves are those of the California Postsecondary Education Commission. The most salient of the Commission’s Cal Grant delivery recommendations include:

  • The State should undertake a transition toward a decentralized, campus-based model for the delivery of both Cal Grant Entitlement and Competitive awards, one that is more consistent with the federal student aid delivery system. This recommended decentralized, campus-based delivery approach will require some statutory changes and can be accomplished while preserving the state’s current priorities for the Cal Grant programs.
  • The California Student Aid Commission should convene a task force to develop a new definition of and methodology for calculating the high school Cal Grant GPA that is more commonly available from high schools and more readily used by colleges. CPEC offers this recommendation because the current methodology for calculating the high school Cal Grant GPA differs from that used for nearly any other high school or college purpose.
  • The State needs to obtain complete and accurate information concerning the “true” costs of both the current Cal Grant delivery system as well as implementing the alternative decentralized model recommended.
Further, while not directly related to the delivery of Cal Grant awards, but based upon the task force discussions, the California Postsecondary Education Commission also offers the following two policy recommendations relating to the State’s current Competitive Cal Grant programs:

  • The Governor, Legislature, and the California Student Aid Commission should modify the current Cal Grant Competitive program to ensure that the program clearly addresses the unique needs of older, adult, non-traditional, returning, and reentry students. The program should be modified to reflect the unique information and outreach needs of this student population, including the differing time periods at which these students apply for financial aid.
  • The Governor, Legislature, and the California Student Aid Commission should also modify the current Cal Grant program structure and related program provisions to ensure that the needs of students pursuing vocational and technical education programs are adequately being met. Once appropriate modifications have been made, it may be possible for the State to eliminate the current Cal Grant C Program by ensuring that the needs of students the program was designed to serve are met by the Entitlement and Competitive grants.
The Commission approved the transmittal of this report at its meeting on February 4, 2003.
Related Topics: Fees, Tuition, Costs and Financial Aid
 

Further information may be obtained from the Commission's Research Staff
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at Research_Staff@cpec.ca.gov.

A copy of any publication may be requested from the Commission's Publications Unit
(916) 445-1000 or via e-mail at Publication_Request@cpec.ca.gov.

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