California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a $47.1 billion higher education package to make colleges more affordable in the Golden State.
Newsom signed seven bills that will improve college affordability and improve access to high-quality educational opportunities for Californians. Five of those bills focus on the student housing crisis and financial aid applications. The remaining two will provide more openings for California students to enroll at the two state universities — the University of California and California State University.
According to College Calc, average in-state tuition at a four-year college in California was $24,481 during the 2019-2020 academic year — $458 more than the previous year. Institutions such as Harvey Mudd, California Institute of Technology, and Chapman University recorded in-state tuition of over $50,000.
Governor Newsom stated that the new legislation would bridge equity gaps and increase opportunities at California universities for low-income students. He explained that a state budget surplus of $80 billion is the reason behind the state’s historic higher education investment.
“We have the plan and this year, we have the money to get big things done,” Newsom told the crowd at California State University.
– Making it easier for students to transfer to four-year universities
– Improving housing affordability for students
– Making financial aid more accessible https://t.co/MMgCetbp5y
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) October 6, 2021
The new investment is part of Newsom’s $100 billion California Comeback Plan signed earlier this year to tackle challenges facing the state.
“Californians have thrived at our world class universities for decades, but not everyone has had similar access — today that’s changing. Everyone deserves a shot at the ‘California Dream,’” Newsom added while signing the legislation in Northridge.
The state will also disburse $1.9 billion to thousands of student college savings accounts, make it easier for community college students to transfer, and introduce high-quality educational programs, Newsome explained at the signing ceremony.
The seven bills are in addition to 40 other higher-education proposals in the pipeline.
“In order for us to thrive like we are doing today, we need 1 million more college graduates,” Assemblyman Kevin McCarty stated to the crowd. “You, and you, and you, and everybody else in our community will get a college degree to help our state survive and thrive.”