Student Aid Commission stands in solidarity with California’s students and education partners in pursuit of social justice

Article Marlene Garcia | Catalina Cifuentes | Dr. Jamillah Moore

CONTACT: Michael Lemus 916-206-1285

SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 5, 2020 To our students, families, and colleagues,

We write to you with a heaviness in our heart as we grieve with the nation. The death of George Floyd, yet another unarmed Black male, shines a bright spotlight on the vast systemic inequities that exist within our society.

On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, this tragedy has caused deep emotional trauma for many of our students, their families and communities. In the face of this crises, now more than ever we are committed to meeting the needs of our financial aid students, especially those from the most marginalized communities.

As the nation’s largest administrator of state financial aid, we are regularly reminded of the important work we do to bridge the financial gap in helping students fund their college education.  But all too often, students struggle to make ends meet in pursuit of a higher education. Our recent 2018-2019 Student Expenses and Resources Survey (SEARS) data underscores that there also are major racial disparities in students’ ability to afford college. For example, Black students, in particular, indicated the highest levels of housing insecurity (47 percent) and food insecurity (54 percent).  The lack of these basic resources creates huge barriers for these students to succeed in college and break the cycle of poverty.

The California Student Aid Commission’s vision is one that looks Towards a California that invests in educational opportunity, fosters an active, effective citizenry, and provides a higher quality of social and economic life for its people. As an organization that promotes access and equity for all students, we stand in solidarity with California’s students and our education partners to be relentless in our pursuit of social justice.

For more information related to accessing California financial aid, visit

In solidarity,

Marlene L. Garcia
Executive Director, California Student Aid Commission

Catalina Cifuentes
Chair, California Student Aid Commission

Dr. Jamillah Moore
Vice Chair, California Student Aid Commission