Budget deal invests in financial aid, enrollment growth at California’s colleges and universities – Monterey Herald

By Michael Burke and Ashley A. Smith, EdSource

According to the budget approved by California legislature on Monday, the state’s public colleges and universities are set to receive a series of new investments that will enable them to increase enrollment, expand funding, and meet the basic needs of their students.

The budget now on Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk also restores cuts made last year near the peak of the pandemic.

Below are the highlights of what the budget includes for California’s public university systems and community colleges, according to a summary of the deal.

California State University

  • California State University, with 23 campuses enrolling approximately 486,000 undergraduate and graduate students, would receive a $ 185.9 million increase in general funding and a $ 299 million recovery from last year’s pandemic-induced budget cuts.
  • The system would also receive $ 81 million in current dollars to increase enrollment to 9,434 new students in the 2022-23 academic year.
  • The system would also provide a one-off $ 325 million for delayed maintenance and energy efficiency projects.
  • The budget also includes $ 2 million in one-time dollars to study salary structures outside of the faculty.
  • Some campuses would see an increase in one-time funding, including $ 25 million to CSU Northridge for a technology and equity center to help underrepresented Black and Latin American students study science, technology, engineering, and math. The system would also receive $ 433 million one-time and $ 25 million to aid Humboldt State University’s transition to a polytechnic facility.

CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro described the budget as a “visionary investment” in the university system that would help meet California’s current and future needs.

“The one-time funding will meet long-term infrastructure needs in specific locations and across the university, improve facility security and modernize facilities to enhance student learning and discovery experience,” Castro said in a statement. “The direct investment in the CSU and access to additional funding will undoubtedly fuel our efforts to ensure that all California students can get a quality college degree on time without having to burden themselves with debt.”

University of California

  • The budget restores the $ 302.4 million cut from core University of California funding during last year’s pandemic, while the system receives an additional $ 173 million in general funding.
  • The nine undergraduate campus system would earn $ 67.8 million in 2022-23 to increase the enrollment of California residents in UC by 6,230 students.
  • The agreement provides for $ 31 million in 2022-23, $ 61 million in 2021-24, and $ 92 million in 2024-25 to encourage enrollment of foreigners at UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego, making room for an additional 900 California residents each year.

Adult education centers

  • The budget pays all deferrals, also known as late payments, back to the California system of 116 community colleges, while Proposition 98 provides the system with an additional $ 371.2 million in ongoing general funding.
  • The colleges will receive a one-time $ 100 million to aid student recruitment and retention in the face of declining enrollments across the system.
  • The system will also receive $ 115 million one-time to enable free textbook degrees, $ 100 million to hire more full-time faculty, and $ 100 million one-time to meet basic student needs.

Calbright College

  • The budget would continue to fund Calbright College, the state’s only online community college. However, it allows the college to be abolished if the legislature passes laws closing the institution. Assembly Bill 1432, which this body passed and is up for a vote in the Senate, would dissolve the college by the end of the 2022/23 academic year.

Financial help

  • The budget would expand the middle-class scholarship program to help low- and middle-income UC and CSU students meet incidental expenses. This expansion will begin in 2022-23.
  • The California community colleges will receive a one-time funding of $ 150 million to provide emergency financial aid to students.
  • The agreement also removes time and age restrictions for community college students seeking Cal Grants, extending aid to an estimated 133,000 community college students.

Eloy Oakley, the system-wide chancellor overseeing California’s 116 community colleges, described the changes to the Cal Grant eligibility rules as “an historic update” that will make community college student aid “more inclusive”. “We look forward to continuing to work with the legislature and the governor to take the important step of increasing Cal Grant’s student financial support that is so critical to their success,” he added.