California students are being given financial assistance to attend historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
Earlier in October 2023, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1400, which provides a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to community college students in California who transfer to HBCUs, according to EdSource. The bill — written by Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan — was put into motion because there are no HBCUs in “The Golden State,” so students heading to HBCUs have to go out of state and may lose access to state aid. What’s more, the bill aims to “create a California-to-HBCU-to-California pipeline that would benefit not only our students, but the entire state,” the California Student Aid Commission stated according to the outlet.
“AB 1400 creatively redirects funds to provide support to California’s students looking to transfer to an HBCU and bring their talents back to California,” Marlene Garcia, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said.
Funded by the College Access Tax Credit, the grants are set to be awarded to a small number of California community college transfer students. According to Bryan, only 53 students enrolled at 39 HBCUs during the 2021-2022 school year. While the transfers were fairly low, making the grants available may pique the interest of more students in the state to look into attending an HBCU.
In July 2023, another legislation was given the green light to support California students. As previously reported by AFROTECH, foster youth are able to attend state colleges for free under SB 307, which was signed into California’s state budget. The program, Fostering Futures, is an extension of Fostering Futures’ Middle-Class Scholarship (MCS) and also covers the costs of books, food, and housing.
“Officials say the program serves to both increase the likelihood that foster youth can reach their educational goals and also better prepare them to enter the next stage of their lives, whether that involves pursuing an advanced degree or entering directly into their chosen career path, by providing the opportunity to begin their next chapter debt-free from higher education,” Los Angeles, CA’s KTLA 5 detailed.