Nov 25

CalMatters College Beat Publishes Article About AB 288

Read why the new bill banning scholarship displacement matters to California students.

After a long and hard fought campaign, Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 288 September 30, 2022. NCCPC was the original sponsor of this bill banning scholarship displacement, joining four other states in the ban in a move that will benefit over a million California students.

Alyssa Story with CalMatters College Beat recently spoke with Executive Director Mer Curry and others about why AB 288 matters so much to the lives of California college students.

Story focuses on the hardships students faced when they were awarded private scholarships on top of financial aid from their respective institutions. Many times, these private awards canceled out the financial aid the student received, yanking the rug out from under low-income, first generation college students.

Dixie Samaniego is one of these students who qualified for a Pell Grant and a state Cal Grant at Cal Fullerton. When she earned a $5,000 scholarship on top of these grants, she was notified by the university that accepting the scholarship would reduce the amount of grants she received. Samaniego had to turn the scholarship down.

Story recounts other stories of displaced scholarships in her College Beat article and spoke with Mer Curry about the work NCCPC was already doing with college students to help guide them through the confusing process of applying for grants and private financial aid.

“It’s inefficient to be (advocating) student by student, but it’s also inequitable,” Curry said. “What we were finding from students is that they felt lucky, privileged, they were in a program, or had someone that explained to them what the issue was so that they could even go through a process of advocating or asking for help.” 

Story’s article highlights the fact that “a 2013 study by the National Scholarship Providers Association found that 20% of colleges nationwide reduce institutional grants when a student earns a private scholarship, even if a student still has demonstrated need.”

Beginning with the 2023-2024 academic year, the new law will protect many students from future scholarship displacement.

To read Alyssa Story’s full article “Universities can’t yank financial aid from students who get private scholarships, new law says” visit CalMatters College Beat

To learn more about AB 288, NCCPC’s #handsoffmyscholarship campaign, and what’s next for students affected by the new bill, visit https://norcalpromisecoalition.org/policy/ and reach out to us if you have questions about how AB 288 affects you.