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Academic Council Resolution to Protect Cal Grant Funding

A RESOLUTION
CALLING UPON THE GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE TO
PROTECT CAL GRANT FUNDING
 

Whereas University of the Pacific was founded in July 1851 as California's first chartered university;

Whereas during the ensuing 160 years, Pacific's graduates have gone on to serve California in government, entertainment, industry, educational endeavors, and the sciences;

Whereas since the Cal Grant program started in 1955 to support qualified students at independent nonprofit California universities to reduce demand on California's public universities;

Whereas Cal Grants provide a ladder of opportunity and leverage a powerful public-private partnership to help students achieve their higher education goals without excessive debt;

Whereas for every Cal Grant student enrolled at an independent nonprofit California university, three additional California students are educated at no cost to the state;

Whereas independent nonprofit California universities schools educate 22% of California's undergraduates, more than 143,000 students, but only 15% of Cal Grant expenditures go to students attending independent nonprofit California universities;

Whereas the maximum Cal Grant for a student attending an independent nonprofit California university has not increased since 2000, meaning its present value has declined by over 30%, while the maximum Cal Grant at California's public educational institutions has increased automatically over that same period of time;

Whereas on average it costs the State of California $24,000 to educate a Cal Grant student for one year at the University of California, $11,750 for one year at the California State University, and $6,100 for one year at a community college, while on average it costs California less than $9,200 to educate a Cal Grant student for one year at an independent nonprofit California university like Pacific;

Whereas the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst's Office opined, "[S]ome of the strengthened academic requirements, as well as reductions to Cal Grant awards for needy students at private institutions, would unreasonably harm access";

Whereas the Cal Grant improves diverse student populations at independent nonprofit California universities;

Whereas 1,346 current Pacific undergraduates, more than one-third of all undergraduates at Pacific, rely on the Cal Grant to fund their education;

Whereas for every student awarded a Cal Grant, Pacific awards an average of $17,500 in additional institutional financial aid;

Whereas at Pacific, the proposed reduction in the maximum Cal Grant from $9,708 to $5,472 would result in a loss of $5.7 million in aid to Pacific students-aid that Pacific is unable to replace on its own-likely causing many Cal Grant students to leave Pacific and continue their education at public institutions at greater expense to California; and

Whereas the proposed reduction in the maximum Cal Grant at independent nonprofit California universities will disrupt the lives of thousands of Californians while increasing financial pressures upon the State's General Fund and depriving California of the educational benefits created by fully funding the Cal Grant program: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Faculty of the University of the Pacific support the Students First Alliance and call upon the Governor and the Legislature to maintain the maximum Cal Grant award for students at independent nonprofit California universities at $9,708.

March 15, 2012                                    Attest:        Christopher Goff, Chair of Academic Council


Harriett Arnold, Chair-Elect