Senate Bill 291 proposes advanced financial aid for community college students

Amy Gallagher, Staff Reporter

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To combat the financial issues California community college students face, a new financial aid program, Senate Bill 291, was proposed by California legislatures to cover the full cost of attending community college.

The bill is a “powerful statement about the actual needs, and the needs as a state to step up,” said Robert Stockwell, political science professor. “It brings attention to those larger and broader range of needs that are being unmet in the current financial aid system.”

Members of the Public Policy School, a joint group created by De Anza’s politcal science department and Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action, attended a conference at the beginning of March in Sacramento to meet with legislators and discuss various senate bills, including bill 291.

The bill would cater to a larger range of needs and affect a broader spectrum of students.

“I really think this bill recognizes the importance of providing for all California community college students and it takes care of the true cost of attendance,” said Maya Burns, 19, political science and English major. “This kind of financial support will help people in many ways, and provides equity that is missing from the system.”

Shelly Michael, 19, political science and history major, attended this conference along with Burns and Stockwell.

“The more students that can get their education and get it in a way that’s catered towards their needs, the more positive impact we make,” said Michael.

“The bill is a very important conversation that we haven’t had yet,” said Burns. “Even if it doesn’t pass, it’s already made a difference just by talking about it.”

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