February 7, 2003

A Million Dollar Opportunity!

“Those who have knowledge and education must be ready and willing to share with those who lack them, for inequality in money and property is not always the most tragic. There is an even more crying inequality-between those who know and those who do not know.”

--Golda Meir

Dear Californian:

Imagine that $1 million winning lottery tickets were being handed out to kids across the state. The line to get one would be miles long! Cal Grants provide such a golden opportunity for thousands of California’s students...

A, B and even C students from working and middle-class families are eligible to receive as much as $9,700 annually over four years through a Cal Grant. These cash awards are not loans and students do not have to pay them back. This is very important, because even those struggling students who do manage to make it through college often graduate with a staggering amount of debt that may take years to repay.

I am deeply disappointed each year when I hear of the millions of unclaimed education dollars in our Cal Grant fund-more than $50 million over the past two years. We cannot let this continue! Cal Grants can provide the unprecedented opportunity to obtain a college education for thousands of kids who may not otherwise have had the chance to succeed. Over a lifetime, on average, people with college degrees earn $1 million more than those who didn’t go to college. In California, everyone has an equal chance to fulfill their educational and professional dreams, but not everybody knows that.

March 3 is the deadline for high school seniors to apply!

Thousands of students have failed to receive an award simply because they have not filled out the necessary application. It is such a shame for talented students to waste the chance for a higher education, especially when the applications are available at every high school or at: http://www.csac.ca. gov/pubs/forms/grnt_frm/engcgflyer.pdf.

I created the College Opportunity and Outreach Program (COOP) two years ago to help inform California’s high school students about these grants. Click here for more information: http://www.ltg.ca.gov/programs/coop/index.asp or visit my Web site at www.ltg.ca.gov for specific details about this and other programs. If you have any questions, please call or email me at Cruz.Bustamante@ltg.ca.gov.

CRUZ M. BUSTAMANTE
Lieutenant Governor

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