Questions and Concerns about California Assembly’s “Degrees Not Debt Scholarship” Proposal

The California Assembly is presently debating a proposal that would establish a $1.5 billion “Degrees Not Debt Scholarship.” The scholarship proposal was introduced on March 14, 2017, and while California advocates applaud efforts meant to address issues with college access, affordability, and completion in the state, criticism over the effectiveness of the proposal remain. Debbie Cochrane explains in a blog post originally on The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) website that the main issue encompassing student debt advocates’ criticisms of the current proposal is that it would give more money to students with less financial need, and less to those with more need.

“We estimate that a low-income UC [University of California] student would receive about $2,000 more in aid than they currently do, while a student with a six-figure income could get more than $15,000 more per year.  Yet half of all UC graduates who leave school with debt have family incomes under $52,000. Further, UC students who graduate with loans have average debt around $21,000. From the perspective of debt reduction, giving higher income students $15,000 per year is excessive, especially when most don’t borrow, and giving lower income students an additional $2,000 per year is not nearly enough.”

You can read the full blog post here.

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