Improving Student Access to Financial Aid

Spring
2009
Resolution Number: 
20.02
Contact: 
Category: 
Students
Status: 
Completed

Whereas, The mission of the California community colleges is to provide access to quality instruction to those who are capable of benefiting, many of whom are low-income, disadvantaged, or underrepresented;

Whereas, Students' ability to attend community colleges is affected by significant related expenses, such as the costs for books, transportation, and childcare, as well as general living expenses, leading the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges to adopt many resolutions opposing an additional burden on students in the form of increased student fees; and

Whereas, A high percentage of California Community College students qualify for various forms of federal and state financial aid, with over 84 percent qualifying in some urban districts, but "only 34 percent of CCC students apply for these valuable forms of aid, compared to 45 percent of community college students in the rest of the country" (Green Lights & Red Tape: Improving Student Access to Financial Aid in California Community Colleges, 2007);

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges encourage local senates to review and, where appropriate, act on the recommendations made in Green Lights and Red Tape, such as "Reevaluate policies and procedures that may create unnecessary student barriers" and "Promote financial aid awareness and application through student services and faculty";

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges provide guidance to local senates by identifying and disseminating effective practices for improving student access to financial aid that can be implemented or advocated for by faculty; and

Resolved, That the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges sponsor a breakout at the Fall 2009 Plenary Session in order to identify effective steps that faculty can take to increase applications for financial aid and that the results of that breakout be distributed to local senates.

MSC Disposition: Local Senates

Summary: 
Encourage local senates to review and, where appropriate, act on the recommendations made in <i>Green Lights and Red Tape</i>; provide guidance to local senates by identifying and disseminating effective practices for improving student access to financial aid that can be implemented or advocated for by faculty; sponsor a breakout at the Fall 2009 Plenary Session in order to identify effective steps that faculty can take to increase applications for financial aid and that the results of that breakout be distributed to local senates.
Recommendation: 
Committee will sponsor fall breakout.
Status Report: 

09-10 CLFIC held a fall 09 plenary breakout on the catastrophic cuts to categoricals. Other 09-10 CLFIC activities that focused on financial aid but were not specific to GLRT: 1. a Nov 09 Rostrum article on categorical cuts that included status of financial aid funding; and 2. a spring 10 resolution authored by CLFIC opposing elimination of competitive Cal Grants. 10-11 CLFIC conducted a breakout at Spring 11 plenary; "Rethinking Financial Aid." 10-11 CLFIC also published a Rostrum; "Improving Student Access to Financial Aid" that summarizes the article “Green Lights and Red Tape." This Rostrum article also included a self-assessment intended to serve as a tool for individuals to use to begin the discussion locally on their campuses about existing financial aid policies and office procedures.