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Photo Collage of Students Studying

Report released by the Education Commission
"Redesigning State Financial Aid"

The Education Commission’s recent report “Redesigning State Financial Aid” which focuses on the four principles of state financial aid redesign – student centered, goal-driven and data-informed, timely and flexible, and broadly inclusive.  These principles were created in collaboration with leaders in aid policy development from across the country in late 2014.


University of California students cheer a $60 tuition drop

University of California students already celebrated a tuition freeze announced last month for the 2018-19 school year. Now they have something else to cheer: a rare $60 reduction.

The UC regents on Thursday approved a budget plan finally ending a $60 annual surcharge that began 11 years ago and paid the costs of legal cases the university lost. As a result, the price of tuition and systemwide mandatory fees will drop from $12,630 to $12,570, not including room, board, books and other expenses.

Sadia Khan Berkeley Student

A major barrier to a college degree for low-income Californians
Housing Costs

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Sadia Kahn ended up at UC Berkeley because of a look her dad gave her. When she was in middle school she told him she wanted to go to Berkeley because she’d noticed adults perked up when they heard the word, but in this case it backfired.

“He had the saddest look in his eye,” Kahn recalls. “I think he felt guilty. He knew that was something we couldn’t afford.”

NYT graph Affirmitive Action

Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges Than 35 Years Ago

Even after decades of affirmative action, black and Hispanic students are more underrepresented at the nation’s top colleges and universities than they were 35 years ago, according to a New York Times analysis.

The share of black freshmen at elite schools is virtually unchanged since 1980. Black students are just 6 percent of freshmen but 15 percent of college-age Americans, as the chart below shows.

Pepperdine University

New pathway gives California community college students guaranteed admission to private colleges
New program limited to certain majors if students take required courses

Three dozen private California colleges and universities are offering a path to guaranteed admissions for community college students, adding a new option for those who want to earn their bachelor’s degrees in four years.

The actions of the private colleges are part of a continuing trend that has seen stronger ties between the state’s community college system and its four-year colleges and universities.

UC Berkeley Campus

Not Living In The Dorms?
Good Luck Figuring Out What College Is Going To Cost

As newly minted college students get ready to start classes next month, some will find their school’s estimates for costs are way off. If students relied on what colleges report, they’d expect to pay nearly the same amount for food and off-campus housing at Fresno State as at UCLA, even though the two areas have dramatically different housing costs.

The Campus of Cal State Long Beach

Getting free college tuition in California: a quick guide
More than 1.3 million low- and middle-income students attend California’s public colleges

More than 1.3 million low- and middle-income students attend California’s public colleges and universities each year without having to pay tuition, thanks to financial aid programs in each of the state’s higher education systems that cover those bills.

A California law that allows for a free first year of tuition at the state’s community colleges made headlines in 2017.

Department of Justice Seal

Attorney General Becerra Charges Navient Corporation, Largest Student Loan Servicer, with Deceitful Practices and Debt-Collection Misconduct in Lawsuit
An estimated 1.5 million Navient student borrowers live in California

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced that he will be filing a lawsuit this week against Navient Corporation (Navient) and its subsidiaries, Pioneer and General Revenue Corporation, for misconduct in the servicing and collection of federal student loans. Navient services approximately $300 billion in federal and private student loans held by 12 million borrowers. An estimated 1.5 million Navient borrowers live in California.

California UC and CSU students

California college students flock to Arizona as UC, CSU turn them away

New freshmen enrollment by California students at ASU reached a peak in 2015, when more than 1,400 freshmen signed up for ASU classes.(Photo: Tom Tingle/The Republic) California’s loss is Arizona’s gain, at least when it comes to public college students.

As California’s public universities have turned away tens of thousands of qualified applicants annually, Arizona has seen its numbers of California transplants grow, bringing with them higher tuition payments. 

FAFSA Louisiana

Louisiana ranks first in high school seniors asking for federal dollars to help pay for college

In the last school year, more than three out of four public and private high school seniors — 76.5 percent — have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form. The form makes them eligible for a wide range of federal assistance, including Pell grants, work study programs and loans for four-year colleges as well as community and technical schools.

Just a few years ago, Louisiana trailed much of the nation in the number of high school seniors seeking college aid.

Paid Off

America, 2018: If they win this game show, young people can have their student debt paid off

NEW YORK — Student debt afflicts as many as 44 million Americans, with the average student now carrying $37,000 in loans. The total amount owed in the United States exceeds $1.3 trillion.

Of all the ideas to solve this crisis, a game show might not be at the top of the list. But actor and comedian Michael Torpey figures, what the heck?

Torpey and the cable network TruTV have devised “Paid Off,” a show that offers the elements of a classic trivia game show with a Sallie Mae twist.

Mobile FAFSA App

Mobile FAFSA App To Launch This Summer

The Office of Federal Student Aid announced plans to launch this summer the beta version of myFAFSA – part of the myStudentAid app – allowing new applicants to submit an application for the 2018-19 school year. That event will be followed by a fall release allowing new and renewing applicants to complete the 2019-20 FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT).

Fixing financial aid

Fixing financial aid

“Overwhelming,” “confusing,” “scary,” “intimidating,” “nerve-wracking,” “embarrassing,” and “miserable.” The college students I met recently sounded like they were describing a horror film or a tough final exam. Instead, they were recounting their struggles navigating America’s financial aid system.