Some financial relief is in sight for thousands of middle-class students at California’s public universities, under a new and unusual state program that will provide aid to families that earn up to $150,000 annually.
Over the next month or so, an estimated 156,000 undergraduates are scheduled to be notified that they will receive tuition grants for the academic year estimated to be as much as $1,450 for UC students and $650 for Cal State, with smaller amounts for more affluent families in the eligible range.
The assistance is an attempt to help middle-class families that earn more than $80,000 and typically aren’t eligible for the federal and state grants that cover much or all of the tuition for lower-income students.
The awards are relatively low initially but could more than triple over the next three years and cover between 10% and 40% of UC and Cal State tuition on a sliding income scale by 2017 — if promised state funding comes through.
Yet even before the first awards, problems and uncertainties have arisen. Because of funding shortfalls, many students this year are expected to receive about $200 less than the plan originally called for, according to the California Student Aid Commission, which is administering it. <Read more.>