Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley held a quarterly media teleconference Thursday, March 25 with student newspaper reporters, editors and advisors from different California community colleges.
Among the topics talked about were enrollment, financial aid, Cal Grant reform, AAPI concerns, reopening plans and vaccinations.
Oakley acknowledged the decline in summer and fall enrollment due to the pandemic and economic fallout. He also put emphasis on students beginning to plan for the upcoming summer session and fall semester.
The third stimulus bill that Congress approved, The American Recovery Act, includes $2.3 billion in COVID-19 related assistance for California community colleges. These federal funds will go directly to students who are struggling and continue to need financial support.
“A much-needed resource for students and colleges to deal with the effects of the pandemic. Half of those funds will be used for emergency student grants,” Oakley said.
The other half will be allocated to colleges to serve students in this pandemic era better.
In late February, Gov. Galvin Newsom and state legislators passed an Emergency Package which included $100 million for emergency student financial assistance. The grants will go to the hardest-hit students who can self-certify they are currently enrolled in at least six units and demonstrate an emergency need for financial assistance, including loss of employment
Additional requirements include students earning at least a 2.0 GPA in one of their previous three terms or disabled students receiving Disabled Student Programs and Services.
Three websites recommended for financial aid assistance during the teleconference were the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), StayEnrolled.com, and icanaffordcollege.com. Students are still able to apply for the FAFSA 2021/2022
Information for summer and fall enrollment or applying for different financial aid categories can obtain all these facts on StayEnrolled.com.
Students needing contact information for their college Financial Aid Office can visit icanaffordcollege.com. The website’s office locator tool helps students with emailing, calling, or setting up an appointment with a financial aid advisor on their college campus.
AB-1456 Student financial aid: Cal Grant Reform act aims to modernize the Cal Grant system and open up access to more students, particularly low-income community college students. The Chancellors Office strongly supports this legislation.
Oakley’s office said it is doing everything it can to protect the AAPI community on their campuses and doesn’t tolerate any Anti-Asian or Pacific Islander hate, actions or violence in any way, shape or form.
The reopening of campuses will depend on the county, city and college districts but the college community’s health and safety will still remain a top priority. Faculty and staff vaccination is also part of the reopening process.