Friday, February 15, 2019

Senate Bill 291 (Leyva) Would Put Financial Aid Directly Into Student Hands, Supporting Affordability, Success and Equity

SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Connie Leyva (D-Chino), recently introduced Senate Bill 291, a bill to cover the true cost of attendance for a community college student and eliminate a longstanding disparity in financial aid community college students receive. By establishing the California Community College Financial Aid Program, SB 291 recognizes the key role California’s community colleges play in lifting the state’s economy and the importance of providing opportunities of all Californians.

Kellie Williams, Student Trustee of the California Community College Trustees (CCCT) Board and Law and Philosophy major at the Los Angeles Community College District remarked, “I’m excited about SB 291 because it finally offers CCC students the same support a four-year university student receives. This would bring equity to the financial aid system by ensuring we have money for textbooks, transportation to classes, or food to eat while studying and pursuing our degree.”

Under this new program, financial aid awards would help pay for expenses not already covered by a student’s family contributions, employment, and other aid, such as Pell Grants and the Cal Grant program. In addition, financial aid would be available whether a student is seeking a degree, certificate, or short-term career education program.

“Unfortunately, far too many California community college students cannot afford to pay for textbooks, housing, and transportation despite working two and sometimes three jobs. Senate Bill 291 recognizes that tuition alone isn’t the greatest obstacle for our students, and that the total cost of attendance must be considered when calculating and awarding financial aid to the neediest low-income students. We can’t meet California’s workforce and civic needs without creating a far more equitable system of financial aid. SB 291 is a necessary investment in California’s future,” said, Larry Galizio, President & CEO of the Community College League of California.

SB 291 is co-sponsored by the California Community Colleges and the Community College League of California. To learn more about SB 291 visit:


The Community College League of California (League) is a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a voluntary membership of the 72 local community college districts in California. The League promotes student access and success by strengthening colleges through advocacy, policy development, leadership development, and district services. Visit our website at