In Sacramento, bringing Cal Grant students together with lawmakers

USC President C. L. Max Nikias, USC Trustees, senior administrators and three USC students who are Cal Grant recipients made a recent visit to Sacramento to speak with California lawmakers. The USC delegates discussed the importance of the Cal Grant program, which has provided funding for more than 2.3 million students in the state since its creation nearly 60 years ago. At USC, 93 percent of Cal Grant recipients complete their degrees in six years — a rate higher than at most public universities in California.

Governor Jerry Brown, Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, Marco Valadez, President Nikias

Governor Jerry Brown, Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, Marco Valadez, President Nikias

The three students who journeyed to Sacramento — Jasmine Torres, Shamoiya Washington, and Marco Valadez — shared their personal stories with lawmakers, putting a real face on the challenges low-income students face when assessing their higher education options. The USC delegation asked legislators to reconsider the planned 11% cut to the Cal Grant program slated to take effect this summer. The proposed cut would bring the maximum grant to $8,056 for students attending private colleges and universities, the lowest it has been in 16 years.