Making UC, CSU Schools More Affordable

Assembly Speaker proposes "Middle Class Scholarship".

By Erika Okano
|  Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 7:26 AM PDT
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Making UC, CSU Schools More Affordable

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New legislation will be introduced in Sacramento Wednesday, designed to help middle class families afford tuition at University of California and California State University schools.

Assembly Speaker John Perez plans to introduce the "Middle Class Scholarship" according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Under the plan, families with a household income of $150,000 or less would qualify to save $8,100 per year on UC tuition or $4,000 per year on CSU tuition.

"Over the past couple of years we've been able to protect the poorest students by maintaining the Cal Grant system," Perez told the Chronicle. "As fees have increased we've gotten to a point where middle-class families are being squeezed, where they make too much money to qualify for the current system of aid, but too little to afford to put their students through the UC or CSU."

The ongoing program would cost the state about $1 billion per year. Perez, D-Los Angeles, says it would be funded by eliminating a corporate tax break put into place in 2009.

But that may be the program's downfall. Any change to taxes needs two-thirds approval in the Legislature and that means it needs Republican support. Perez says even though Republicans are against changing the corporate tax break, he thinks they can be persuaded to support his plan.

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