Student Lobby Day
Students, administrators and staff from the University of Redlands traveled to Sacramento March 7 to meet with state officials about proposed Cal Grant budget cuts that provide financial aid for students who attend independent, non-profit universities.
“I already work two jobs on top of a full course load and other involvements as well as working two jobs during the summer to help pay for my tuition and housing,” said Ruben Gonzalez, a junior at the University of Redlands. “I would’ve either dropped out and worked until I raised enough money to finish up my last year or would have had to transfer to a CSU or UC.”
With a proposed reduction of $4,236 per student per year, the budget cut could potentially impact 23 percent of the student body in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Violet Miehle, a freshman at Redlands, receives no financial support from her family, “People choose private schools for different reasons. For me, it was the small class size and student to teacher ratio. Just because someone goes to a private school does not mean they come from a wealthy family.”
So whom, exactly, would these budgets cuts be benefiting? Not the students, and certainly not the state. Miehle explains, “Because students at state schools (typically) take longer to graduate, they will need Cal Grants for a longer period of time. Cutting Cal Grants for private school students costs more in the long run.”
After hearing the testimony from students and administrators alike, an Assembly subcommittee voted 4-0 to reject the cuts to Cal Grants. The proposed cuts will undergo additional review throughout the budget planning process by state lawmakers throughout April and May.