SACRAMENTO Governor Gray Davis announced a 54.6 percent increased in Cal Grant awards in 2001, the first year of a program to guarantee financial aid to all students who meet minimum grade requirements and demonstrate financial need.
Final data made available by the California Student Aid Commission shows that 48,425 high school seniors were awarded Cal Grant A and B awards in 2001, compared to 31,326 high school seniors in 2000.
"We are making the dream of a higher education a reality for many more students," Governor Davis said. "I'm particularly pleased to see a large increase in awards at schools that have traditionally sent fewer students to college."
Governor Davis signed legislation creating the first-ever Cal Grant guarantee last year. The State now provides full fees for college or university (up to $9,700 a year at a private institution) for every recently graduating high school student with a "B" average and financial need.
Outreach efforts since the landmark legislation was signed have targeted schools with traditionally low college going rates and those with students showing great financial need. These efforts include statewide mailings, regional workshops and a public relations campaign to encourage students to apply.
A coalition of partners including the Governor's Office of the Secretary for Education, higher education institutions, the California Student Aid Commission and the Irvine Foundation will begin a new outreach program after the new year to assist students with the application process.
The Cal Grant Guarantee is in line with Governor Davis' initiatives to make college accessible and affordable for all California students. Since taking office, the Governor has championed effort to make high quality education a possibility for students from every high school, by promoting the University of California's plan to admit the top four percent of students from every high school to a UC campus; making Advanced Placement courses accessible to students at schools where rigorous courses were never before available; and putting the focus on academics at high schools.
In addition, Governor Davis instituted the Governor's Scholars Program to provide $1,000 scholarships to students at every high school who score in the top 10 percent of their class or top five percent statewide on standardized tests.
A breakdown of the number of Cal Grant awards at every California High School has been posted at the Web site of the Governor's Office of the Secretary for Education, www.ose.ca.gov. For more information about the range of awards available through the Cal Grant program, visit the California Student Aid Commission program "Showcase" Web site at www.csac.ca.gov.