The Legislature wants to maintain financial aid for UC and CSU students from families earning between $80,000 and $150,000 a year. But that conflicts with Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to phase out the program.
To the happy surprise of some officials, thousands of California students may benefit from the expansion of federal Pell grants into summer sessions. The extra funding is expected to help speed up the time to graduation for low-income students.
The governor's May budget revision reverses his plan to reduce Cal Grants used at private colleges. He enters the controversy over a critical audit of UC by withholding $50 million until the university system shows that it better controls spending and improves management.
With nearly 40 percent of incoming freshmen needing remediation in English or math, CSU is planning ways to make sure those students earn college credit from the start. Many details remain to be figured out, officials said.
Assembly Higher Education committee unanimously passes the bill, which advocates say will improve graduation rates. If approved by the full Legislature and governor, the measure would require community colleges to place students in credit classes unless there is a high probability of failure.
Officials say the reforms are kicking in even if student completion rates have not improved significantly yet; they expect progress soon. Student leaders say the real problems are economic, not in advising students about majors.