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Williams, Assembly Back Senate Bill to Increase Student Grant Money

The California Assembly passed a bill Monday that would allow college students access to more grant money.

Senate Bill 285 would provide money from the College Access Tax Credit Fund to increase Cal Grant B access awards, up to a maximum of $5,000. The bill was passed 74-1 and is now off to the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown for approval.

“College expenses are going up at a time when grant money has gone way down,” said Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee. “We know that students who must work full-time while going to school take longer to graduate. This money will give dedicated college students some breathing room as they pursue their studies.”

The bill is authored by state Sen. Kevin De León and is contingent upon the enactment of a companion bill, SB 284, which allows taxpayers to receive a tax credit for contributions made to the Fund, for taxable years 2014-16.

Students who attend college must incur costs far beyond fees and tuition. The actual cost to attend a California postsecondary institution includes books and supplies, room and board, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

The maximum Cal Grant B award, however, is currently only $1,473.

Nearly half of all Cal Grant B recipients are students at California community colleges.

Josh Molina is the communications director for Assemblyman Das Williams.


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