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February 26, 2002

For More Information, Contact:
Kristina Loquist at (916) 651- 4011


SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) encouraged students in the 21st Assembly District to apply for a scholarship from the revised Cal Grant Program before the deadline of March 2, 2002. Simitian serves as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance and emphasized that an unprecedented level of support is now available.

“Under this historic Cal Grant expansion, for the first time in history every low- or moderate-income student who meets the academic standards is guaranteed a Cal Grant award,” Simitian said.

The State of California awards Cal Grant awards to eligible students to finance tuition and fees at the California State University or the University of California.  Awards are also given to community college students and students entering private colleges in California.  Students attending community colleges have until September 2, 2002 to apply for a Cal Grant.

“Apparently, inadequate outreach during the last two years limited the number of students applying for Cal Grants,” observed Simitian. “I know there are students out there who are struggling to find the resources they need to stay in school. It’s a shame to have the funds sit unspent simply because folks don’t know they are available.” Last spring the California Student Aid Commission returned $35 million to the state in unused student grants.

Students must apply for a Cal Grant by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Form and a Cal Grant Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification Form.
Recent changes in the law guarantee that all eligible students will receive a Cal Grant award of up to $11,250 a year, depending on the cost of their college or university, their financial need, and the type of grant.  Cal Grants do not have to be repaid.

“For more information on Cal Grants, I encourage students to contact their college counselors at their high schools, the California Student Aid Commission at 1-888-224-7268, or my office at 650-688-6330.  This is a great opportunity to help students get to college,” Simitian said.



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