A new law signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom will allow community college students in the state who transfer to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) a one-time grant of up to $5,000.
The bill, titled Assembly Bill 1400 was authored by Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan. According to EdSource, it was moved because there are no HBCUs in California so students wanting to attend an HBCU would have to go out of state and could lose access to state aid.
A statement from the California Student Aid Commission said that Assembly Bill 1400, would “create a California-to-HBCU-to-California pipeline that would benefit not only our students, but the entire state.”
The bill will reallocate money from the state’s College Access Tax Credit Fund to fund the grants. According to EdSource, the commission said that due to federal tax changes, there has been a significant decrease in revenue, and the program no longer meets the demand of its intended target, low-income students. The commission says that by repurposing the funds, the program now provides “more meaningful and impactful support” for a small number of students.
According to Bryan, only 53 students are enrolled in 39 HBCUs in the 2021-2022 school year. While the transfers are small, the number is expected to rise with the allocation of the grant.
To be eligible for the funds, students must indicate their intent to return to California upon graduation, Insight Into Diversity reports.
“AB 1400 creatively redirects funds to provide support to California’s students looking to transfer to an HBCU and bring their talents back to California,” Marlene Garcia, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said in a statement.
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