Amended in Assembly May 31, 2016

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1721


Introduced by Assembly Member Medina

(Coauthors: Assembly Members Chiu, Low, Rodriguez, Santiago, and Ting)

January 28, 2016


An act to amend Sectionsbegin delete 69435, 69436, andend delete 69437begin insert and 69439end insert of the Education Code, relating to student financial aid.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 1721, as amended, Medina. Student financial aid: Cal Grant Program.

(1) The Cal Grant Program establishes the Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, the California Community College Transfer Entitlement awards, the Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards, the Cal Grant C awards, and the Cal Grant T awards under the administration of the Student Aid Commission, and establishes eligibility requirements for awards under these programs for participating students attending qualifying institutions, as defined.

This bill would express the intent of the Legislature to renew California’s commitment to college affordability by increasing the aid available to needybegin delete studentsend deletebegin insert students, and, specifically, broadening access to financial aid to students enrolled in California community college career technical education programs leading to industry valued credentials,end insert through expanding the Cal Grant Program.

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(2) Under existing law, an award for access costs, as defined, under the Cal Grant B Entitlement Program is limited to no more than $1,551.

end delete
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This bill would raise the amount of the maximum award for access costs under the Cal Grant B program to $3,000.

end delete
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(3) Under existing law, to be eligible for an award under the California Community College Transfer Entitlement Program, an applicant may not be 28 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year, and is required to have attended a California community college in the academic year immediately preceding the academic year for which the award will be used, among other requirements.

end delete
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This bill would instead provide that an applicant for an award under the California Community College Transfer Entitlement Program may not be 31 years of age or older by December 31 of the award year, and is required to have attended a California community college no more than 3 academic years before the academic year for which the award will be used, among other requirements.

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(4)

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begin insert(2)end insert Under existing law, no more than a total of 25,750 Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards may be granted annually.

Thisbegin delete billend deletebegin insert bill, commencing with the 2016-17 academic year,end insert would raise that limit tobegin delete 30,000.end deletebegin insert 34,000. The bill would, effective with the fall term or semester of the 2017-18 academic year, make students enrolled in occupational or technical training courses leading to industry valued credentials of no less than 4 months in length at a California community college eligible for Cal Grant B awards under an existing allocation reserved for community college students, notwithstanding an existing requirement that limits Cal Grant B awards to for-credit instructional programs that are not less than one academic year in length.end insert

begin insert

(3) Existing law requires a Cal Grant C award to be utilized only for occupational or technical training in a course of not less than 4 months. Existing law requires that there be the same number of Cal Grant C awards each year as were made in the 2000-01 fiscal year.

end insert
begin insert

This bill instead would require that there be the same number of Cal Grant C awards each year as were paid in the 2015-16 fiscal year.

end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

(a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

P3    1(1) To remain economically competitive, California will need
2to produce 11,900,000 degrees and credentials by 2025, but the
3state is only estimated to produce 9,500,000, which would create
4a degree and credential attainment gap of 2,400,000 by 2025.

begin insert

5
(2) California’s community colleges have strong transfer
6preparation and career technical education missions and are well
7positioned to close this impending gap.

end insert
begin delete

8(2)

end delete

9begin insert(3)end insert Overall, only 32 percent of students at California colleges
10complete credentials on time, and low-income students are much
11less likely than higher income students to enroll in or complete
12college.

begin delete

13(3)

end delete

14begin insert(4)end insert A major factor in a student’s enrollment and success in
15college is his or her ability to pay for fees and tuition, textbooks,
16transportation, housing, food, and other access costs.

begin delete

17(4)

end delete

18begin insert(5)end insert California has made an important investment in need-based
19financial aid for California’s college students through the Cal Grant
20Program and the BOG Fee Waiver Program of the Board of
21Governors of the California Community Colleges.

begin delete

22(5)

end delete

23begin insert(6)end insert The Cal Grant Program awards more thanbegin delete oneend deletebegin insert twoend insert billion
24begin delete five hundred millionend delete dollarsbegin delete ($1,500,000,000)end deletebegin insert ($2,000,000,000)end insert
25 annually, and it is the largest state grant program in the nation in
26terms of dollars awarded to students. The BOG Fee Waiver
27Program is more extensive than any other “free community
28college” plan in the nation, and it provides almost one-half of all
29students of the California Community Colleges, and more than 60
30percent of full-time students of the California Community Colleges,
31with free tuition.

begin delete

32(6)

end delete

33begin insert(7)end insert Despite California’s strong commitment to financial aid,
34access grants for qualifying students arebegin delete insufficentend deletebegin insert insufficientend insert to
35cover nontuition college costs, and many low-income students are
36left out of the program entirely.

begin delete

37(7)

end delete

38begin insert(8)end insert Students at California’s community colleges are
39disproportionately more likely to be the first in their family to
P4    1attend college, come from an immigrant background, or be
2financially needy.

begin delete

3(8)

end delete

4begin insert(9)end insert After taking into account the total cost of attendance and all
5federal, state, and institutional financial aid available for students,
6on average it is more expensive for a needy student to go to a
7California community college than to attend the University of
8California or the California State University.

begin delete

9(9)

end delete

10begin insert(10)end insert The affordability challenge faced by California’s
11community college students stems from nontuition costs, and the
12solution to that challenge is to increase grant aid that covers
13nontuition costs.

begin delete

14(10)

end delete

15begin insert(11)end insert The 1960 California Master Plan for Higher Education in
16California guarantees an affordable, high-quality education to
17every Californian who can benefit.

18(b) It is the intent of the Legislature to renew California’s
19commitment to college affordability by increasing the aid available
20to needybegin delete studentsend deletebegin insert students, and, specifically, broadening access
21to financial aid to students enrolled in California community
22college career technical education programs leading to industry
23valued credentials,end insert
through expanding the Cal Grant Program.

begin insert

24
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that California community
25colleges provide outreach and education to students to inform
26them of the expanded availability of financial aid for students
27enrolled in career technical education programs and to encourage
28these students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student
29Aid by the September 2 deadline.

end insert
begin delete
30

SEC. 2.  

Section 69435 of the Education Code is amended to
31read:

32

69435.  

(a) (1) A Cal Grant B award shall be used only for
33tuition, student fees, and access costs in a for-credit instructional
34program that is not less than one academic year in length.

35(2) The commission, or a qualifying institution pursuant to
36Article 8 (commencing with Section 69450), shall award access
37grants in a student’s first academic year. In subsequent years, the
38award shall include an additional amount to pay tuition or fees, or
39both, to attend college at a public or private four-year college or
40university or other qualifying institution for all Cal Grant B awards
P5    1pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 66021.2.
2In no event shall the total award in any year exceed the applicant’s
3calculated financial need.

4(3) Not more than 2 percent of new Cal Grant B recipients
5enrolling for the first time in an institution of postsecondary
6education shall be eligible for payments for tuition or fees, or both,
7in their first academic year of attendance. The commission shall
8adopt regulations specifying the criteria used to determine which
9applicants, if any, receive both tuition and fees plus the access
10grant in the first year of enrollment. Priority shall be given to
11students with the lowest expected family contribution pursuant to
12Section 69432.7 and the highest level of academic merit.

13(b) An award for access costs under this article shall be in an
14annual amount not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000). This
15amount may be adjusted in the annual Budget Act.

16

SEC. 3.  

Section 69436 of the Education Code is amended to
17read:

18

69436.  

(a) A student who was not awarded a Cal Grant A or
19B award pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434)
20or Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435) at the time of his
21or her high school graduation but, at the time of transfer from a
22California community college to a qualifying baccalaureate
23program, meets all of the criteria set forth in subdivision (b), shall
24be entitled to a Cal Grant A or B award.

25(b) Any California resident transferring from a California
26community college to a qualifying institution that offers a
27baccalaureate degree is entitled to receive, and the commission,
28or a qualifying institution pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with
29Section 69450), shall award, a Cal Grant A or B award depending
30on the eligibility determined pursuant to subdivision (c), if all of
31the following criteria are met:

32(1) A complete official financial aid application has been
33submitted or postmarked pursuant to Section 69432.9, no later
34than the March 2 of the year immediately preceding the award
35year.

36(2) The student demonstrates financial need pursuant to Section
3769433.

38(3) The student has earned a community college grade point
39average of at least 2.4 on a 4.0 scale and is eligible to transfer to
40a qualifying institution that offers a baccalaureate degree.

P6    1(4) The student’s household has an income and asset level not
2exceeding the limits set forth in Section 69432.7.

3(5) The student is pursuing a baccalaureate degree that is offered
4by a qualifying institution.

5(6) He or she is enrolled at least part time.

6(7) The student meets the general Cal Grant eligibility
7requirements set forth in Article 1 (commencing with Section
869430).

9(8) The student will not be 31 years of age or older by December
1031 of the award year.

11(9) The student graduated from a California high school or its
12equivalent during or after the 2000-01 academic year.

13(10) The student attended a California community college in
14an academic year no more than three academic years before the
15academic year for which the award will be used.

16(c) The amount and type of the award pursuant to this article
17shall be determined as follows:

18(1) For applicants with income and assets at or under the Cal
19Grant A limits, the award amount shall be the amount established
20pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434).

21(2) For applicants with income and assets at or under the Cal
22Grant B limits, the award amount shall be the amount established
23pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435).

24(d) (1) A student meeting the requirements of paragraph (9) of
25subdivision (b) by means of high school graduation, rather than
26its equivalent, shall be required to have graduated from a California
27high school, unless that California resident graduated from a high
28school outside of California due solely to orders received from a
29branch of the United States Armed Forces by that student or by
30that student’s parent or guardian that required that student to be
31outside of California at the time of high school graduation.

32(2) For the purposes of this article, both of the following are
33exempt from the requirements of subdivision (e) of Section 69433.9
34and paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) of this section:

35(A) A student for whom a claim under this article was paid prior
36to December 1, 2005.

37(B) A student for whom a claim under this article for the
382004-05 award year or the 2005-06 award year was or is paid on
39or after December 1, 2005, but no later than October 15, 2006.

P7    1(3) (A) The commission, or a qualifying institution pursuant
2to Article 8 (commencing with Section 69450), shall make
3preliminary awards to all applicants currently eligible for an award
4under this article. At the time an applicant receives a preliminary
5award, the commission, or a qualifying institution pursuant to
6Article 8 (commencing with Section 69450), shall require that
7applicant to affirm, in writing, under penalty of perjury, that he or
8she meets the requirements set forth in subdivision (e) of Section
969433.9, paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) of this section, and
10paragraph (1) of this subdivision. The commission, or a qualifying
11institution pursuant to Article 8 (commencing with Section 69450),
12shall notify each person who receives a preliminary award under
13this paragraph that his or her award is subject to an audit pursuant
14to subparagraph (B).

15(B) The commission shall select, at random, a minimum of 10
16percent of the new and renewal awards made under subparagraph
17(A), and shall require, prior to the disbursement of Cal Grant funds
18to the affected postsecondary institution, that the institution verify
19that the recipient meets the requirements of subdivision (e) of
20Section 69433.9, paragraph (9) of subdivision (b) of this section,
21and paragraph (1) of this subdivision. An award that is audited
22under this paragraph and found to be valid shall not be subject to
23a subsequent audit.

24(C) Pursuant to Section 69517.5, the commission shall seek
25repayment of any and all funds found to be improperly disbursed
26under this article.

27(D) On or before November 1 of each year, the commission
28shall submit a report to the Legislature and the Governor including,
29but not necessarily limited to, both of the following:

30(i) The number of awards made under this article in the
31preceding 12 months.

32(ii) The number of new and renewal awards selected, in the
33preceding 12 months, for verification under subparagraph (B), and
34the results of that verification with respect to students at the
35University of California, at the California State University, at
36independent nonprofit institutions, and at independent for-profit
37institutions.

end delete
38

begin deleteSEC. 4.end delete
39
begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

Section 69437 of the Education Code is amended to
40read:

P8    1

69437.  

(a) Commencing with the 2001-02 academic year, and
2each academic year thereafter, there shall be established the
3Competitive Cal Grant A and B award program for students who
4did not receive a Cal Grant A or B entitlement award pursuant to
5Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), Article 3
6(commencing with Section 69435), or Article 4 (commencing with
7Section 69436). Awards made under this section are not
8entitlements. The submission of an application by a student under
9this section shall not entitle that student to an award. The selection
10of students under this article shall be determined pursuant to
11subdivision (c) and other relevant criteria established by the
12commission.

13(b)  Commencing with thebegin delete 2015-16end deletebegin insert 2016-17end insert academic year, a
14total of up tobegin delete 30,000end deletebegin insert 34,000end insert Cal Grant A and B awards shall be
15granted annually under this article on a competitive basis for
16applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria established in
17Article 1 (commencing with Section 69430) and the priorities
18established by the commission pursuant to subdivision (c).

19(1) begin deleteFifty percent end deletebegin insertFifteen thousand end insertof the awards referenced in
20this subdivision are available to all students, including California
21community college students, who meet the financial need and
22 academic requirements established pursuant to this article. A
23student enrolling at a qualifying baccalaureate degree granting
24institution shall apply by the March 2 deadline. A California
25community college student is eligible to apply at the March 2 or
26the September 2 deadline.

27(2) begin deleteFifty percent end deletebegin insertNineteen thousand end insertof the awards referenced
28in this subdivision are reserved for students who will be enrolled
29at a California community college. The commission shall establish
30a second application deadline of September 2 for community
31college students to apply for thesebegin delete awards effective with the fall
32term or semester of the 2001-02 academic year.end delete
begin insert awards.
33Notwithstanding paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section 69435,
34effective with the fall term or semester of the 2017-18 academic
35year, students enrolled in occupational or technical training
36courses leading to industry valued credentials of no less than four
37months in length at a California community college shall be eligible
38for Cal Grant B awards issued under this paragraph.end insert

39(3) If any awards are not distributed pursuant to paragraphs (1)
40and (2) upon initial allocation of the awards under this article, the
P9    1commission shall make awards to as many eligible students as
2possible, beginning with the students with the lowest expected
3family contribution and highest academic merit, consistent with
4the criteria adopted by the commission pursuant to subdivision
5(c), as practicable without exceeding an annual cumulative total
6ofbegin delete 30,000end deletebegin insert 34,000end insert awards.

7(c) (1) On or before February 1, 2001, acting pursuant to a
8public hearing process that is consistent with the Bagley-Keene
9Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120)
10of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government
11Code), the commission shall establish selection criteria for Cal
12Grant A and B awards under the competitive program that give
13special consideration to disadvantaged students, taking into
14consideration those financial, educational, cultural, language,
15home, community, environmental, and other conditions that hamper
16a student’s access to, and ability to persist in, postsecondary
17education programs.

18(2) Additional consideration shall be given to both of the
19following:

20(A) Students pursuing Cal Grant B awards who reestablish their
21grade point averages.

22(B) Students who did not receive awards pursuant to Article 2
23(commencing with Section 69434), Article 3 (commencing with
24Section 69435), or Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436).

25(d) All other students who meet the eligibility requirements
26pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 69430) are eligible
27to compete for an award pursuant to this article.

28begin insert

begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 69439 of the end insertbegin insertEducation Codeend insertbegin insert is amended to
29read:end insert

30

69439.  

(a) For the purposes of this section, the following terms
31have the following meanings:

32(1) “Career pathway” has the same meaning as set forth in
33Section 88620.

34(2) “Economic security” has the same meaning as set forth in
35Section 14005 of the Unemployment Insurance Code.

36(3) “Industry cluster” has the same meaning as set forth in
37Section 88620.

38(4) “Long-term unemployed” means, with respect to an award
39applicant, a person who has been unemployed for more than 26
P10   1weeks at the time of submission to the commission of his or her
2application.

3(5) “Occupational or technical training” means that phase of
4education coming after the completion of a secondary school
5program and leading toward recognized occupational goals
6approved by the commission.

7(b) A Cal Grant C award shall be utilized only for occupational
8or technical training in a course of not less than four months. There
9shall be the same number of Cal Grant C awards each year as were
10begin delete madeend deletebegin insert paidend insert in thebegin delete 2000-01end deletebegin insert 2015-16end insert fiscal year. The maximum
11award amount and the total amount of funding shall be determined
12each year in the annual Budget Act.

13(c) The commission may use criteria it deems appropriate in
14selecting students to receive grants for occupational or technical
15training and shall give special consideration to the social and
16economic situations of the students applying for these grants, giving
17additional weight to disadvantaged applicants, applicants who face
18economic hardship, and applicants who face particular barriers to
19employment. Criteria to be considered for these purposes shall
20include, but are not limited to, all of the following:

21(1) Family income and household size.

22(2) Student’s or the students’ parent’s household status,
23including whether the student is a single parent or child of a single
24parent.

25(3) The employment status of the applicant and whether the
26applicant is unemployed, giving greater weight to the long-term
27unemployed.

28(d) The Cal Grant C award recipients shall be eligible for
29renewal of their grants until they have completed their occupational
30or technical training in conformance with terms prescribed by the
31commission. A determination by the commission for a subsequent
32award year that the program under which a Cal Grant C award was
33initially awarded is no longer deemed to receive priority shall not
34affect an award recipient’s renewal. In no case shall the grants
35exceed two calendar years.

36(e) Cal Grant C awards may be used for institutional fees,
37charges, and other costs, including tuition, plus training-related
38costs, such as special clothing, local transportation, required tools,
39equipment, supplies, books, and living expenses. In determining
40the individual award amounts, the commission shall take into
P11   1account the financial means available to the student to fund his or
2her course of study and costs of attendance as well as other state
3and federal programs available to the applicant.

4(f) (1) To ensure alignment with the state’s dynamic economic
5needs, the commission, in consultation with appropriate state and
6federal agencies, including the Economic and Workforce
7Development Division of the Office of the Chancellor of the
8California Community Colleges and the California Workforce
9Investment Board, shall identify areas of occupational and technical
10training for which students may utilize Cal Grant C awards. The
11commission, to the extent feasible, shall also consult with
12representatives of the state’s leading competitive and emerging
13industry clusters, workforce professionals, and career technical
14educators, to determine which occupational training programs and
15industry clusters should be prioritized.

16(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the areas of
17occupational and technical training developed pursuant to
18paragraph (1) shall be regularly reviewed and updated at least
19every five years, beginning in 2012.

20(B) By January 1, 2016, the commission shall update the priority
21areas of occupational and technical training.

22(3) (A) The commission shall give priority in granting Cal
23Grant C awards to students pursuing occupational or technical
24training in areas that meet two of the following criteria pertaining
25to job quality:

26(i) High employer need or demand for the specific skills offered
27in the program.

28(ii) High employment growth in the occupational field or
29industry cluster for which the student is being trained.

30(iii) High employment salary and wage projections for workers
31employed in the occupations for which they are being trained.

32(iv) The occupation or training program is part of a
33well-articulated career pathway to a job providing economic
34security.

35(B) To receive priority pursuant to subparagraph (A), at least
36one of the criteria met shall be specified in clause (iii) or (iv) of
37that subparagraph.

38(g) The commission shall determine areas of occupational or
39technical training that meet the criteria described in paragraph (3)
40of subdivision (f) in consultation with the Employment
P12   1Development Department, the Economic and Workforce
2Development Division of the Office of the Chancellor of the
3California Community Colleges, and the California Workforce
4Investment Board using projections available through the Labor
5Market Information Data Library. The commission may supplement
6the analyses of the Employment Development Department’s Labor
7Market Information Data Library with the labor market analyses
8developed by the Economic and Workforce Development Division
9of the Office of the Chancellor of the California Community
10Colleges and the California Workforce Investment Board, as well
11as the projections of occupational shortages and skills gap
12developed by industry leaders. The commission shall publish, and
13retain, on its Internet Web site a current list of the areas of
14occupational or technical training that meet the criteria described
15in paragraph (3) of subdivision (f), and update this list as necessary.

16(h) Using the best available data, the commission shall examine
17the graduation rates and job placement data, or salary data, of
18eligible programs. Commencing with the 2014-15 academic year,
19the commission shall give priority to Cal Grant C award applicants
20seeking to enroll in programs that rate high in graduation rates and
21job placement data, or salary data.

22(i) (1) The commission shall consult with the Employment
23Development Department, the Office of the Chancellor of the
24California Community Colleges, the California Workforce
25Investment Board, and the local workforce investment boards to
26develop a plan to publicize the existence of the grant award
27program to California’s long-term unemployed to be used by those
28consulting agencies when they come in contact with members of
29the population who are likely to be experiencing long-term
30unemployment. The outreach plan shall use existing administrative
31and service delivery processes making use of existing points of
32contact with the long-term unemployed. The local workforce
33investment boards are required to participate only to the extent
34that the outreach efforts are a part of their existing responsibilities
35under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (Public Law
36105-220).

37(2) The commission shall consult with the Workforce Services
38Branch of the Employment Development Department, the Office
39of the Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, the
40California Workforce Investment Board, and the local workforce
P13   1investment boards to develop a plan to make students receiving
2awards aware of job search and placement services available
3through the Employment Development Department and the local
4workforce investment boards. Outreach shall use existing
5administrative and service delivery processes making use of
6existing points of contact with the students. The local workforce
7investment boards are required to participate only to the extent
8that the outreach efforts are a part of their existing responsibilities
9under the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (Public Law
10105-220).

11(j) (1) Notwithstanding Section 10231.5 of the Government
12Code, the Legislative Analyst’s Office shall submit a report to the
13Legislature on the outcomes of the Cal Grant C program on or
14before April 1, 2015, and on or before April 1 of each
15odd-numbered year thereafter. This report shall include, but not
16necessarily be limited to, information on all of the following:

17(A) The age, gender, and segment of attendance for recipients
18in two prior award years.

19(B) The occupational and technical training program categories
20prioritized.

21(C) The number and percentage of students who received
22selection priority as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (f).

23(D) The extent to which recipients in these award years were
24successfully placed in jobs that meet local, regional, or state
25workforce needs.

26(2) For the report due on or before April 1, 2015, the Legislative
27Analyst’s Office shall include data for two additional prior award
28years and shall compare the mix of occupational and technical
29training programs and institutions in which Cal Grant C award
30recipients enrolled before and after implementation of subdivision
31(f).

32(3) A report to be submitted pursuant to this subdivision shall
33be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government
34Code.



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