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AB-200 Student financial aid: Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards.(2015-2016)

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Amended  IN  Assembly  May 28, 2015
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 11, 2015

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 200


Introduced by Assembly Members Alejo and Jones-Sawyer
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Williams)

January 29, 2015


An act to amend Sections 69437 and 69437.6 of the Education Code, relating to student financial aid.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 200, as amended, Alejo. Student financial aid: Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards.
Existing law, the Ortiz-Pacheco-Poochigian-Vasconcellos Cal Grant Program, establishes the Cal Grant A and B Entitlement awards, the California Community College Transfer Cal Grant Entitlement awards, the Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards, the Cal Grant C awards, and the Cal Grant T awards under the administration of the Student Aid Commission, and establishes eligibility requirements for awards under these programs for participating students attending qualifying institutions. Among other things, the program requires that a total of 22,500 Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards be granted annually.
This bill would instead require that a total of 45,000 50,000 Competitive Cal Grant A and B awards be granted for each of the 2015–16 and 2016–17 academic year, years and that 80,000 60,000 be granted for the 2017–18 academic year, and that 100,000 be granted for the 2018–19 academic year and each academic year thereafter. The bill would also make conforming changes and delete an obsolete provision.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 69437 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69437.
 (a) Commencing with the 2001–02 academic year, and each academic year thereafter, there shall be established the Competitive Cal Grant A and B award program for students who did not receive a Cal Grant A or B Entitlement award pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435), or Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436). Awards made under this section are not entitlements. The submission of an application by a student under this section shall not entitle that student to an award. The selection of students under this article shall be determined pursuant to subdivision (c) and other relevant criteria established by the commission.
(b) Cal Grant A and B awards shall be granted annually under this article on a competitive basis for applicants who meet the general eligibility criteria established in Article 1 (commencing with Section 69430) and the priorities established by the commission pursuant to subdivision (c). The total number of awards granted annually under this article shall be 22,500 50,000 for each of the 2015–16 and 2016–17 academic year, 45,000 for the 2016–17 academic year, 80,000 years and 60,000 for the 2017–18 academic year, and 100,000 for the 2018–19 academic year and each academic year thereafter.
(1) Fifty percent of the awards referenced in this subdivision are available to all students, including California community college students, who meet the financial need and academic requirements established pursuant to this article. A student enrolling at a qualifying baccalaureate degree granting institution shall apply by the March 2 deadline. A California community college student is eligible to apply at the March 2 or the September 2 deadline.
(2) Fifty percent of the awards referenced in this subdivision are reserved for students who will be enrolled at a California community college. The commission shall establish a second application deadline of September 2 for community college students to apply for these awards effective with the fall term or semester of the 2001–02 academic year.
(3) If any awards are not distributed pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2) upon initial allocation of the awards under this article, the commission shall make awards to as many eligible students as possible, beginning with the students with the lowest expected family contribution and highest academic merit, consistent with the criteria adopted by the commission pursuant to subdivision (c), as practicable without exceeding the applicable annual cumulative total of awards specified in this subdivision.
(c) (1) On or before February 1, 2001, acting pursuant to a public hearing process that is consistent with the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the commission shall establish selection criteria for Cal Grant A and B awards under the competitive program that give special consideration to disadvantaged students, taking into consideration those financial, educational, cultural, language, home, community, environmental, and other conditions that hamper a student’s access to, and ability to persist in, postsecondary education programs.
(2) Additional consideration shall be given to both of the following:
(A) Students pursuing Cal Grant B awards who reestablish their grade point averages.
(B) Students who did not receive awards pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435), or Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436).
(d) All other students who meet the eligibility requirements pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 69430) are eligible to compete for an award pursuant to this article.

SEC. 2.

 Section 69437.6 of the Education Code is amended to read:

69437.6.
 (a) An applicant competing for an award under this article shall meet all the requirements of Article 1 (commencing with Section 69430).
(b) To compete for a competitive Cal Grant A award, an applicant shall, at a minimum, meet all of the requirements of Article 2 (commencing with Section 69434), with the exception of paragraphs (1) and (8) of subdivision (b) of Section 69434. However, in lieu of meeting the grade point average requirement set forth in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 69434, an applicant may submit a community college or college grade point average of at least 2.4 on a 4.0 scale.
(c) To compete for a competitive Cal Grant B award, an applicant shall, at a minimum, meet all of the requirements of Article 3 (commencing with Section 69435), with the exception of paragraphs (1) and (8) of subdivision (a) of Section 69435.3. However, in lieu of meeting the grade point average requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (a) of Section 69435.3, a student may do either of the following:
(1) Demonstrate attainment of a community college or college grade point average of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.
(2) Reestablish his or her grade point average by completing at least 16 cumulative units of credit for academic coursework at an accredited California community college, as defined by the commission, by regulation, with at least a 2.0 community college grade point average.
(d) To compete for a competitive California Community College Transfer Cal Grant award, an applicant shall, at a minimum, meet the requirements of Article 4 (commencing with Section 69436), with the exception of paragraphs (8) and (9) of subdivision (b) of Section 69436.
(e) All other competitors shall, at a minimum, comply with all of the requirements of subdivision (b) of Section 69432.9.
(f) An individual selected for a Cal Grant A award who enrolls in a California community college may elect to have the award held in reserve for him or her for a period not to exceed two academic years, except that the commission may extend the period in which his or her award may be held in reserve for up to three academic years if, in the commission’s judgment, the rate of academic progress has been as rapid as could be expected for the personal and financial conditions that the student has encountered. The commission shall, in this case, hold the award in reserve for the additional year. Upon receipt of a request to transfer the award to a tuition or fee charging qualifying institution, the individual shall be eligible to receive the Cal Grant A award previously held in reserve if, at the time of the request, he or she meets all of the requirements of this article. Upon receipt of the request, the commission shall reassess the financial need of the award recipient. The commission may prescribe the forms and procedures to be used for the purposes of this section. A recipient’s years of eligibility for payment of benefits shall be based upon his or her grade level at the time the award is transferred to the tuition or fee charging qualifying institution. An award so held in reserve shall only be counted once toward the number of awards authorized by subdivision (b) of Section 69437.