Continued Investments in Higher Education
With fall classes beginning for many college students this week, I'm reflecting on how our recent budget actions have opened doors to brighter futures. Every Californian deserves access to affordable and quality higher education.
As Assembly Budget Chair, I'm especially proud of the latest preliminary numbers showing the University of California (UC) admitted a record number of in-state students. Fall 2022 enrollment will reflect the first year of a state-funded five-year plan to place more Californians students at Berkeley, San Diego and UCLA, the most selective UCs. This incoming class also sets a number of diversity records, as the number of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups increased to 43.8% of the admitted freshman class.
And we're not done! In the latest state budget, we again committed greater investments in higher education with UC and California State University (CSU) schools each receiving a five percent increase. Moreover, our community colleges got an additional $1B+ funding boost - much of it will help close the digital divide and pandemic-related learning gaps, as well as reverse declining enrollment.
We're also making progress on our debt-free college initiative, expanding CalGrant eligibility so that 150,000 more students qualify for aid, and doubling awards under the Student Success Completion Grant program. There's also an additional $227 million for the Middle Class Scholarship, which supports students at the UCs and CSUs.
In addition, housing projects across the UC, CSU, and the community college systems continue to be a priority with an additional $2 billion in the current spending plan, bringing the total funding for new student residences to $4 billion from 2021 to 2025. We have heard students and campuses loud and clear: housing insecurity is a critical issue, and new state investment will provide thousands of California college students an affordable, safe place to live and study.
As a father and graduate of UC Berkeley, I am proud to support our higher education institutions that pave the way to good careers for graduates and a thriving economy for California.
Assemblymember, 19th District