FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2021
SAN ANTONIO – The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities has issued the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s vetoing AB 1185 by Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes, which would have given low-income students an extra year to use their entitlement Cal Grant at the college or university of their choice.
“While we are grateful for all the investments made in higher education and financial aid this year, we are disappointed that the Governor chose to veto AB 1185.” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “COVID-19 has impacted low-income communities of color the most heavily, and unfortunately many have not filled out financial aid forms or matriculated in college because of the pandemic. This bill would have allowed these students to go to college without a financial barrier.”
The Public Policy Institute of California has noted a 10% drop in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in the 2020-2021 academic year. California students who are awarded federal aid are low-income, first-generation college students who have been historically underserved and underrepresented in postsecondary education. Given that Latino/a students make up 55% of California’s K-12 system and are also among those most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, AB 1185 (Cervantes) would reduce barriers for California’s most underserved students by providing an additional year to meet state requirements for the entitlement Cal Grant award. It would also remove the age restrictions to allow returning students who are over the age of 28 to be able to access their entitlement grants.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). The Association’s headquarters are in San Antonio, Texas, with regional offices in Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.