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Claudia Garcia '14, Rocio Samuel-Gama '12 and Elizabeth Canales '12 rally at the state Capitol against proposals to cut students' Cal Grants.

Mount Students Lobby to Preserve Cal Grants

March 9, 2012 -- Three Mount students joined dozens of their peers from throughout the state on March 7 to talk to legislators and speak out at rallies as part of Cal Grant Student Lobby Day, organized by the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU).

Claudia Garcia ’14, Elizabeth Canales ’12 and Rocio Samuel-Gama ’12 traveled to the state Capitol for one-on-one sessions with lawmakers and their staff. The sessions included face time with Assemblymen Mike Feuer and Mike Davis, whose districts cover the Chalon and Doheny campuses, respectively.

The day is designed to make the case for preserving Cal Grants in a time of budget cuts and an uncertain future revenue source for the popular grants, which do not have to be paid back. Also, students have a chance to thank lawmakers for their support in past years to sustain the funding. Some legislators are showing support for rallying students. This week, the Assembly's subcommittee on education finance rejected a range of proposed changes and cuts to the Cal Grant program. The cuts are part of Gov. Jerry Brown's proposal to lawmakers, who must reduce the state's 2012-13 budget by $9.2 billion.

More than 26,000 California students at independent nonprofit colleges count on their Cal Grant to help pay for college, according to the AICCU. The governor is proposing to reduce by nearly half the Cal Grant maximum award of $9,708 to $5,472 for students attending independent, nonprofit schools. The proposed cuts would apply to both incoming and returning Cal Grant students beginning in this fall.

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