The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

The voice of De Anza since 1967.

La Voz News

Proposed budget toughens Cal Grant GPA requirements

De Anza College students currently receiving Cal Grants could find themselves cut off from that aid in the next academic year.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed 2012-13 budget includes raising the minimum GPA requirement for all Cal Grant recipients. The budget’s website claims the changes will save the state $131.2 million.

Brown proposes raising the minimum GPA to receive a Cal Grant B, the most common type received by community college students, from 2.0 to 2.75.

According to De Anza financial aid Director Cindy Castillo, around 800 De Anza students are receiving Cal Grant B’s, totaling $1.2 million. A student can receive a maximum of $1,551 during an academic year.

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“My opinion is that these changes are in line with other federal and state changes that are looking for ways to reduce expenditures while preserving the programs,” Castillo said. “It is becoming clear that low-income students need to be more competitive with their high school grades to qualify for Cal Grants in the future.”

Castillo said most Cal Grant recipients also receive federal aid as well.

Other proposed changes include raising the minimum GPA to receive a Cal Grant A, used for UCs, CSUs and some private colleges, from 3.0 to 3.25. Community college transfers students who currently need a 2.4 GPA to qualify for a Cal Grant would see that rise to 2.75 if the proposed budget passes. According to the governor’s budget summary 26,600 students in California will be affected by the changes in GPA requirements.

Cal Grants are awarded on both a needs-based and competitive basis, and students do not need to repay the funds.

Brown also proposes several changes to how Cal Grants are given to students attending private schools.  The budget would limit money awarded to students attending for-profit schools to $4,000 and non-profit schools to $5,472. Currently students attending private schools can receive up to $9,708.

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