June 23, 2022
Contact: Paul Feist
Office: 916-322-5353
Office E-mail: pfeist@cccco.edu

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley issued the following statement marking today’s 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Pell Grant, the federal financial aid program providing need-based assistance to 660,000 low-income California Community College students.

“Since its enactment a half-century ago, the Pell Grant has been has been pivotal in transforming access and affordability of higher education for millions of low-income California Community College students. The Pell Grant helps students meet their basic needs, such as food, housing, transportation, and childcare, which is critical in promoting academic achievement and program completion. Currently however, the grant amount is not in touch with the true costs of attending college. In the past, the maximum Pell award covered more than 75% of the cost of college. Today, it covers less than one-third, forcing students to take fewer classes and work longer hours to meet basic needs. We join with our state public higher education partners in calling on federal leaders to double the maximum Pell award to $13,000 per award year to restore the purchasing power of this landmark program. A doubled Pell grant, combined with increased investment in the state Cal Grant system will ensure that students have the financial supports they need to pursue their higher education goals and succeed.”

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges serving 1.8 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; and degree and certificate pathways. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.