Today's Law As Amended

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AB-2822 Student financial aid: community college students: emergency financial assistance.(2015-2016)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Research indicates that students’ ability to pay for nontuition costs plays a major role in determining the outcomes of their academic careers and impacts student success. Unexpected financial emergencies can play a major role when community college students drop out of school.
(b) Emergency aid is an effective strategy to retain students and ultimately improve graduation rates and overall student success. Emergency aid provides the flexibility needed to respond to a student’s unexpected financial emergency that may arise during the academic year. Emergency aid is a critical tool for student retention and persistence that is most effective as a part of a broader set of student success efforts.
(c) It is in the interest of the state to reduce the attrition rates of full-time students. Nationally, billions of dollars are lost when full-time students do not return in what would be their second year of college. California has lost more than one hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) in state and federal funding due to first-year attrition. Emergency aid is an efficient investment that addresses student attrition while only providing small dollar grants when a student is in crisis. With this type of well-timed aid, students are more likely to complete the academic term and re-enroll for the next term.
(d) A well-educated citizenry provides tremendous benefits to the state as higher educational attainment is connected with higher earnings, which produce more tax revenue and lower the cost of social services.

SEC. 2.

 Section 76072 is added to the Education Code, to read:

 (a) The CCC Chancellor’s Office shall provide guidelines for community college districts or campuses that seek to establish student emergency aid programs among the supportive services and specialized programs it provides.
(b) Only private funds that a community college district, community college campus, or local community college foundation may receive may be used for the provision of emergency student financial assistance to help eligible students to overcome unforeseen financial challenges that would directly impact the student’s ability to persist in his or her course of study. These challenges include, but are not necessarily limited to, the immediate need for shelter or food. A community college district, community college campus, or local community college foundation shall consider the unique characteristics of its student body in developing specific guidelines for further defining what constitutes an unforeseen financial challenge for its students.
(c) For purposes of this section, the following terms are defined as follows:
(1) “Eligible student” means a student who has experienced an unforeseen financial challenge, who currently meets satisfactory academic progress of the institution he or she attends, and who is at risk of not persisting in his or her course of study due to the unforeseen financial challenge.
(2) “Emergency student financial assistance” means financial support in the form of financial assistance to support a student to help overcome unforeseen financial challenges so that the student can continue his or her course of study.
(d) It is the intent of the Legislature that priority be given to student populations that are in the most need.
(e) A community college district, community college campus, or local community college foundation may solicit and accept private funding for the purposes of this section. These private funding sources may include, but are not necessarily limited to, foundations, corporate funding, crowdfunding, donation drives, or any other sources of private investment that may be available.