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Will Middle Class Scholarship benefit your family?

By Theresa Harrington
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013 at 3:54 pm in Education, Gov. Jerry Brown.

Higher education reporter Katy Murphy and I are working on a story about the new Middle Class Scholarship recently signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown. We would like to speak with families that might benefit from this.

If you are willing to be interviewed for this story, please call me at 925-945-4764 or Murphy at 510-208-6424. You can also reach me by email at tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com or Murphy at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

Here is more information about the scholarship from an excerpted news release sent out by Assemblyman John Perez, D-Los Angeles, who drafted the legislation:

“…In June, Speaker Pérez authored Assembly Joint Resolution 20, calling on Congress to prevent the student loan interest rates from doubling. It passed with overwhelming bipartisan support from the Assembly and state Senate.

The Middle Class Scholarship will cut tuition at UC and CSUs by 40 percent for California families making under $100,000 a year and 10 percent for families making under $150,000.

California universities have seen historically high fee hikes over the past 10 years with tuition rates increasing by over 190 percent at UCs and by about 145 percent at CSUs. Students at UCs and CSUs currently pay an annual tuition of $12,192 and $5,472 respectively. This legislation will dramatically lower the college fees to $7,315 at UCs and $3,283 at CSUs beginning in the 2014-15 school year for families making under $100,000 a year.

The state will increase spending on the Middle Class Scholarship each year until it is fully implemented in 2017-18, and it will be paid for through General Fund revenues.

Working with students and families from around the state, Speaker Pérez authored legislation last year to close a loophole that only benefitted out-of-state corporations and fund the Middle Class Scholarship. The Assembly passed that legislation on a bipartisan basis, but the bill died in the State Senate.

This year, the Middle Class Scholarship, Assembly Bill 94, received overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate and the Assembly.

‘This is a great victory for higher education and middle class families in California, and a huge first step in keeping college affordable,’ Speaker Pérez said. ‘For the past 10 years, the middle class has been increasingly squeezed out of our public universities because of skyrocketing tuition rates, forcing students to drop out of college or take on massive student debt that will negatively impact them for years, possibly decades. This legislation will ensure that California maintains a healthy middle class and an educated work force to keep our economy strong.’”

It is my understanding that this would not be available to families with incomes of less than $80,000 because they are eligible for Cal Grants.

Do you agree with Perez and the governor that this is good for California?

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