January 18, 2002

High Turnout at Cal Grant Event Prompts Second Workshop

An overflow crowd at a Cal Grant application workshop over the weekend has led its sponsors to host a second day of application counseling for Cal Grant applicants and their families on Saturday at San Diego City College.

Hosted by California Student Opportunity and Access Program (CalSOAP) and State Senator Dede Alpert (D-San Diego), the first workshop was held at Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute on Mission Bay. More than 300 students and 400 parents received assistance in completing the forms needed to apply for state higher education grants.

"This was a labor of love by more than 100 volunteers who gave assistance to students and parents in completing the complicated application forms," said Senator Alpert.

Many students and their parents were turned away for lack of space, and a second workshop is slated for Saturday, Jan 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room B-202 at San Diego City College, located at 1313 12th Ave.

Senate Bill 1644 established the Cal Grant Entitlement Program based on financial need, that for the first time guarantees college and university students who also meet academic requirements at Cal Grant award if they apply within a year of graduating from high school. Students who transfer from a community college to a four-year institution before they turn 24 years of age and meet the financial and academic requirements also will be eligible for a guaranteed award.

California students who are older or for other reason do not meet the entitlement requirements still can compete for Cal Grant awards if they are financially and academically eligible, although they will not be entitled to the awards. The bill also extends the application deadline for community-college students who are applying for competitive awards. Additionally, the bill establishes the Community College Student Financial Aid Outreach Program, which provides training in financial aid to counselors at high schools and community colleges who work with students who plan to attend, or are attending, community colleges.

Parents and students interested in more information can call CalSOAP at (858) 569-1866.

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