AB 789 – Removing academic barriers to financial aid

What is this bill about?

AB 789 would ensure that more California students are able to keep their financial aid and achieve their higher education goals.

How does it align with yli’s values?

For college and university students, access to financial aid has been cited as key to improving academic outcomes as well as addressing racial inequities and basic needs insecurity. In order to maintain a Cal Grant or federal financial aid, students must meet certain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards, governed by federal regulations, such as a minimum Grade Point Average, a maximum timeframe for completion, and a minimum course completion rate. Students who are not meeting certain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) standards can have their Cal Grant and federal financial aid terminated.

A report released in July 2021 found that Black and Native American students were twice as likely as white and Asian students to not meet those standards. These students, the report found, did not have less motivation to succeed, but rather, had significantly more life responsibilities, such as childcare and employment demands, and fewer resources, including access to food, housing, and reliable transportation.

yli partners with thousands of youth across the state, the majority of whom are low-income youth of color and we know that access to a quality education is critical to lifetime achievement. This policy aligns with our Education Justice Platform, which calls for free quality education for all.

What is yli doing about it?

We have just submitted a letter endorsing this bill, and we are showing our support on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Who else supports this bill?

  • John Burton Advocates for Youth (co-sponsor)
  • Cal State Student Association (co-sponsor)
  • NextGen California (co-sponsor)
  • Southern California College Access Network (SoCal CAN) (co-sponsor)
  • Student Senate for California Community Colleges (co-sponsor)
  • The Institute for College Access & Success (co- sponsor)
  • uAspire (co-sponsor) UC Student Association (co-sponsor)
  • UNITE-LA (co-sponsor)

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