Secure funding for the Cal Grant aid program and increased access for transfer students are two of the reasons Fresno Pacific University President Joseph Jones, Ph.D., is pleased with the 2018-2019 California education budget proposal presented by Governor Jerry Brown January 10.
“Private higher education is a good investment for the state as well as for students, their families and the local communities in which they live and work,” Jones said. “Colleges and universities such as Fresno Pacific can educate students for less public funding than state universities, as well as give them a personalized and supportive experience that helps them succeed after graduation. This is especially beneficial to the thousands of students who are the first in their families to participate in higher education, as well as students from under-represented groups, who may lack familiarity with how college works. These represent the majority of FPU’s 4,000 students.”
The proposed budget keeps Cal Grants at $9,084 per student and makes it easier for community college students to move into four-year institutions through the associate degree for transfer program. “About 45 percent of our traditional undergraduates depend on Cal Grants to make their educational dreams come true, and many of our students start their journeys in higher education at community colleges. What Governor Brown proposes will make advanced education more accessible to students who achieve academically but have financial concerns,” Jones said.
Kristen Soares, president of the Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities (AICCU) expressed similar sentiments on behalf of the 330,000 students attending private, nonprofit colleges and universities in the state. “Both the funding of Cal Grant awards and strengthened partnership with our community colleges are important steps toward developing a well-educated and thriving student population that will become the future workforce of California. We look forward to working with the legislature in ensuring that this proposal is adopted and thereby make the college dream a reality for all,” she said in a statement. The AICCU represents 78 institutions.