Thursday, September 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Bill eases process for student aid

By
From page A14 | March 02, 2014 |

By Melody Gutierrez
SACRAMENTO — Some 50,000 college-bound high school seniors filled out applications last year for state financial aid, but were disqualified because they failed to submit the required transcripts from their schools.

Now, a San Francisco legislator wants to fix that problem by requiring school districts — not parents and students — to send transcripts of all graduating seniors to the state agency that doles out the monetary awards known as Cal Grants.

Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said he was moved to push AB 2160 after seeing data showing a correlation between high application completion rates for Cal Grants and schools that electronically sent data to the aid commission for all graduating students.

A report released Tuesday by the education think tank Ed Trust-West found 71 percent of 12th-graders in districts including San Francisco, Oakland and Los Angeles successfully completed Cal Grant applications when using electronic transcripts verification compared with 56 percent in districts that did not.

Of the nearly 320 high schools in the Bay Area’s nine counties, 120 of them submit transcript data electronically.

“We are trying to take one barrier out of their way so students can get access to the money they deserve,” Ting said.

Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, who is co-authoring the bill, said: “Students in California today have enough stress on their plate. They have enough challenges. … The challenge of making sure a counselor sends their transcript off is something they shouldn’t have to worry about.”

The legislation also would take care of another problem.

California Student Aid Commission officials said they receive 35,000 paper forms from students this year — forms that are then processed by hand by commission staff.

“The longer it takes us to key-enter things, the longer it takes for us to tell students they qualify,” said Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, which administers Cal Grants. “And this is a time when money matters.”

The application deadline for applying for a Cal Grant this year is March 2.

The transcript, or GPA verification form, and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, are required to apply for a Cal Grant, which awards aid based on a family’s income levels and the cost of the school. Both forms are also required for the new Middle Class Scholarship, which awards tuition breaks of up to 40 percent for students whose families earn less than $150,000.

A Dream Act application is required in place of the FAFSA for undocumented students.

Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said the obstacles some districts have cited have to do with privacy concerns about sharing the grades of all students.

“Part of the concern is that local districts may have policies where they have to opt-in and request their GPA be submitted,” she said.

— Reach Melody Gutierrez at mgutierrez@sfchronicle.com

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Grace Garden: Five years of feeding the needy

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
     
    Per Capita Davis: What to think

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A3

    International Festival moves to park for fourth year

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Essay contest underway

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Sudwerk Wet Hop Lager plants seeds for area hops rebirth

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Speakers plumb issues around the Constitution

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    RepowerYolo hosts solar seminar

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Local Girl Scouts are looking for a few good leaders

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A5

    Reneau, Silberstein will read their poetry Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Parents host campaign coffees for Archer

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Nominate deserving volunteers for top citizen honors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Governor signs bill to support state’s ailing bee population

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Backyard poultry symposium Sunday at UCD

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A5

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    Australian pop band Dick Diver plays Third Space

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    PG&E, Dixon company unveil truck that can restore power

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    $12M earmarked for UCD life sciences center in Chile

    By Karen Nikos-Rose | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Forum

    She’s had it with his neglect

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Educate homeless with dogs

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Davis makes the NY Times

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Affordable housing affects health

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Choose to wipe out hunger

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Off-leash dogs are a danger

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    DHS girls pound Mustangs in the pool

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Davis captures final nonleague volleyball outing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS golfers blow past St. Francis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils blow out Marauders at Brown Stadium

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth softball: Hurricanes win one of two slugfests with Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Youth roundup: These Diamonds are forever in the record books

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Davis falls to Vintage in a JV shootout

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B3

     
    Baseball roundup: Duffy comes up big for Giants in Arizona

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Young Devil harriers carry the day

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

     
    DHS girls tennis team stunned at Franklin

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Students get into the act with Shakespeare

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    Street-smart tips for safe cycling

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

    What’s happening, Sept. 18

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A8

     
    Eagle Scout project makes life easier for Yolo Basin volunteers

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    .

    Arts

     
    Wineaux: Back and forth in the high and low debate

    By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A9

    Catie Curtis brings folk-rock ‘Flying Dream’ to The Palms on Friday Sept. 19

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Jean Botelli

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, September 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6