The cost of attending a California community college is more than just tuition.

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Furthermore, the overwhelming majority of community college students do not qualify for a Cal Grant, the state’s primary form of college financial aid. The program was designed for students attending a four-year university right after high school, and does not adequately serve working students, part-time students, students with children of their own – who now make up an increasing number of community college students.

WHILE CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY COLLEGES HAVE THE LOWEST TUITION IN THE COUNTRY, STUDENTS DO NOT RECEIVE SUFFICIENT FINANCIAL AID TO COVER THESE ESSENTIAL COSTS.

The true cost of attending a community college can exceed $20,000 per year for full-time students – in part, due to the state’s financial aid budgeting for community college students which has not kept pace with the rising cost of living in California. In fact, in many areas of the state it is more expensive to attend community college than it is to attend the University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) due to the growing gap between the cost of living and the amount of financial aid students get.

Black/African American Family
Three students in class
AIAN male walking with daughter on campus

Funding is needed for a more equitable Cal Grant financial aid system.

Join us as we continue to advocate for our legislature to keep the commitment they made to nearly 2 million California community college students in 2022, and fully fund the Cal Grant Reform Act.

Funding an equitable Cal Grant financial aid system is not just good for students; it’s good for the State of California and our economy. According to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office 2022 Economic Impact Report, for every dollar invested in California’s community colleges, an average of $11.70 in return will go back to the state over the course of the students’ careers. Furthermore, every student who graduates with an associate degree will earn at least $11,000 more per year than they would with a high school diploma alone.