We were recently notified by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) that they are eliminating new Cal Grants for ACC students for the coming academic year. We are deeply frustrated by this news, not only because the information provided by CSAC is outdated and not indicative of ACC’s student success, but because of the impact it will have on our students, and thousands of other students in California.
The Governor’s budget for this year contained many deep cuts to programs that affect our students and their families. The cuts to the Cal Grant program will impact 154 colleges in California, and countless students. The Governor was looking for cost savings to reduce the state’s budget shortfall, and unfortunately, those cuts are disproportionately impacting low income students who are seeking an education to change their lives.
We believe CSAC is unfairly applying the budget regulation, and looking at data that is no longer current. If you go to this link: http://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?q=american+career+college&s=all, you can view the information that ACC reported to the National Center for Educational Statistics for the current year – the key federal data source for higher education outcomes – and you will see student completion rates above 70%. ACC’s three-year students default rate was over the 15.5% for the 2008 cohort year that CSAC is looking at for eligibility purposes, which we acknowledge. However the CSAC has refused to consider more up-to-date information which clearly shows that the rate in question has been reduced to 12.9% and 5% for our campuses for the 2009 cohort, well below the 15.5% eligibility threshold. We believe this budget cut is wrong and unfair, and completely ignores the success of thousands of ACC graduates.
Additionally, to allay some concerns raised by students this morning, this announcement from CSAC is unrelated to ACC’s accreditation, nor does it impact our students eligibility under the Title IV Federal Student Aid programs, including Pell Grants.
We will keep you all updated as we fight this cut, but in the meantime, please speak with a Financial Aid Officer on campus to talk about whether this impacts you, and to discuss your financing options.
American Career College