Expanded Aid to Cover More Families

Roughly 15 students gathered in front of Geisel Library Oct. 29 to promote a constitutional amendment that would make Cal Grants a mandatory part of the state budget. Student speakers shared personal financial struggles and advocated to save a program that provided $967 million in financial aid this year. (Kevin Wu/Guardian)
Roughly 15 students gathered in front of Geisel Library Oct. 29 to promote a constitutional amendment that would make Cal Grants a mandatory part of the state budget. Student speakers shared personal financial struggles and advocated to save a program that provided $967 million in financial aid this year. (Kevin Wu/Guardian)

With a major fee increase rapidly approaching amid systemwide unrest, UC President Mark G. Yudof announced a new effort to raise funds for financial aid over the next four years.

Under “Project: You Can,” the 10 UC campuses will attempt to raise $1 billion from private sources by 2014. Yudof said he hopes the plan will eventually alleviate the mounting financial stress placed on students as fees increase.

The UC Board of Regents will be meeting next month to vote on a potential 32-percent fee increase.

But UC Student Association President Victor Sanchez said students aren’t convinced.

“It’s a [public relations] kind of thing,” Sanchez said. “When they’re about to raise fees, they put together an additional financial-aid package to go along with it. It’s an unhealthy and unsustainable cycle.”

Yudof also said he is seeking to modify the boundaries of the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan — the UC Office of the President’s trophy financial aid package — which was originally approved by the regents in February.

The plan currently covers the system-wide fees of California residents whose families earn less than $60,000 per year. Blue and Gold students with sufficient financial need also qualify for further grant aid to help reduce the cost of attendance.

Yudof said he wants to raise the family income ceiling for the plan from $60,000 per year to $70,000 per year. Under the proposal change, approximately 800 more UC students would have their system-wide fees fully covered by the university.

“We’re in the opportunity business, and even in hard fiscal times we are going to be doing everything we can to preserve one of the greatest attributes of the university — its rare combination of world-class education and research and its high proportion of students from low-income families,” Yudof said in a statement.

Vasquez said there are 52,000 UC students whose families make under $70,000 a year.

Thurgood Marshall College junior Anashe Bandari disagrees with the proposal. She said it would make more sense to lower fees for current UC students than to raise them while promising full rides to both current and prospective students.

“I am helping someone pay for their education when I can hardly pay for mine,” Bandari said. “It’s not fair.”

Readers can contact Kashi Khorasani at [email protected].

Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists at University of California, San Diego. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment, keep printing our papers, and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The UCSD Guardian
$2320
$500
Contributed
Our Goal