BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 606
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 17, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                   AB 606 (Williams) - As Amended:  April 11, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Higher  
          EducationVote:12-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               

           SUMMARY  

          This bill establishes a three-year pilot program to increase  
          participation among community college students and state and  
          federal financial aid programs. Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires the Chancellor's Office of the California Community  
            Colleges (CCCCO) to establish the pilot program and select up  
            to 10 community college campuses to voluntarily participate in  
            the program.

          2)States that the particular goals of the pilot program include:

             a)   Identifying best practices for increasing the number of  
               students who complete a Free Application for Federal  
               Student Aid (FAFSA). 

             b)   Developing strategies for increasing student  
               participation in state and federal financial aid beyond  
               just the CCC Board of Governor's student fee waiver (BOG  
               waiver), including the federal American Opportunity Tax  
               Credit.

          3)Requires the CCCCO to provide specified information and data  
            on the pilot program to the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO)  
            by January 10, 2016, and requires the LAO to report to the  
            Legislature on the results of the program and recommendations  
            regarding statewide expansion.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          1)Assuming 10 participating campuses are representative of the  








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            entire system, and assuming increases, by the third year of  
            the pilot program, in new financial aid awards to students at  
            these campuses of 10% for the High School Entitlement Cal  
            Grant B and 5% for the Transfer Entitlement Cal Grant A and B,  
            General Fund costs would be about $200,000 in 2014-15 and  
            about $600,000 in 2015-16.

          2)To the extent the pilot program leads to increases in federal  
            financial aid awards to students at the participating  
            colleges, and further implementation leads to increased state  
            and federal financial aid awards to students throughout the  
            community college system, this could result in overall gains  
            in student success and reductions in the average time for  
            students to complete their educational goals, with resulting  
            efficiency benefits to CCC.

          3)The CCCCO will incur annual costs of around $75,000 to  
            administer the pilot program.

           COMMENTS  

           1)Background and Purpose  . The FAFSA is used to determine  
            eligibility for all major federal and state financial aid  
            programs, including Cal Grants, Pell Grants, institutional aid  
            at the University of California and the California State  
            University, work-study awards, scholarships, and federal  
            student loans. The CCC Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver  
            program provides relief for financially needy students from  
            the CCC $46 per unit fee. A CCC student may apply for a BOG  
            fee waiver by submitting a FAFSA or by submitting a Short  
            Form, which requires less information and is simpler to  
            complete than the FAFSA. Approximately 1.1 million (46%) of  
            CCC students received a BOG fee waiver in 2011-12-an increase  
            of 43% since 2007-08. Community college financial aid  
            officials indicate that about 80% of these students fill out a  
            FAFSA.

            Several reports have highlighted the fact that CCC students  
            have significant financial need but are the least likely to  
            take advantage of the federal financial aid support that is  
            available to them. The author believes that all needy CCC  
            students should be filling out a FAFSA as a matter of course.

           2)Prior Legislation  . In 2011, AB 91 (Portantino), which was  
            substantially similar to this bill, was vetoed, with the  








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            Governor arguing that a statute was unnecessary, as the CCCCO  
            could work with the districts to meet the bill's objectives.  
            In 2010, AB 1997 (Portantino), another almost identical bill,  
            was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger for the same reason.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916) 319-2081