FPU steps in to help students waiting for Cal Grant funds


Fresno Pacific University announced today it will cover the cost of Cal Grants for its students until the State of California comes up with a budget


While this will put strain on university resources, it is necessary to ensure students can continue their education and complete their degrees."Most students who receive Cal Grants are not in a financial position to make payments on their accounts to even partially cover costs until the government releases the funds," said President D. Merrill Ewert."This will force the university to dip into its reserves and postpone urgently needed expenditures, but we simply can't leave our students stranded."

At FPU, about 580 students receive a total of $4,714,000 from Cal Grants. This is about 40 percent of those in the traditional undergraduate program, typically recent high school graduates, and 11.5 percent of those in the bachelor's degree completion program, designed for older working students with some college credit. Another 47 graduate students receive Cal Grants.

The state budget is now almost two months overdue, and political leaders will not fund the $407 million in Cal Grant until a deal is struck. Statewide 335,000 low-income students qualify for the financial aid program."The budget delay puts pressure on students, families and schools," Ewert said."Now it's time for people to pressure the legislature: it's imperative that California has a budget soon."

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