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February 21,  2017 - CALIFORNIA COLLEGE PATHWAYS UPDATE
California College Pathways (CCP) provides resources and leadership to campuses and community organizations to help foster youth succeed at community colleges, vocational schools, and four-year universities. Visit us at: www.cacollegepathways.org


Upcoming Events: 

2/22/17: Step Up Webinar - Confidentiality of Foster Care Records

2/23/17: JBAY Webinar -  Let's Talk THP-Plus Rates: Regional Housing Costs & Serving Parenting Youth

3/9/17: JBAY Webinar - On-Campus Resources & Support for Foster Youth in College (Post-Secondary Education Training Series)

4/18/17 - 4/19/17: California Foster Youth Education Summit: Hyatt Regency in Sacramento. 

10/16/17 - 10/17/17: California College Pathways Blueprint for Success Conference:
Sheraton Gateway LAX Hotel.


With the support of the Stuart Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, California Wellness Foundation and Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, CCP is managed by John Burton Advocates for Youth. Learn more at:

www.jbaforyouth.org

 
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March 2 Financial Aid Application Deadline Approaching 

Registration Now Open for Foster Care Education Summit 

New Report Finds Success Increases with More Financial Aid for Lowest Income Community College Students

Assembly Bill 214 (Weber) Seeks to Address College Campus Hunger 

TICAS Calls for Redirecting Middle Class Scholarship Funds to Expand Cal Grant Program

New Website Helps Empower Foster Youth to Make Fully-Informed Decisions About Their College Options

New ESSA Guidance and Webinars Focus on College and Career Readiness
March 2 Financial Aid Application Deadline Approaching 

The priority deadline for applying for college financial aid is now less than two weeks away. In order to qualify for the State Cal Grant program, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be submitted no later than March 2nd. Undocumented students can submit the California Dream Act application in lieu of the FAFSA, also no later than March 2nd. Students must also ensure that a certified Grade Point Average (GPA) was submitted to the California Student Aid Commission by their high school. Although California law requires that all public and charter high schools electronically upload GPAs for currently enrolled seniors who do not opt-out, it is recommended that students confirm that this has been properly submitted. Students may still submit the FAFSA after the March 2 deadline, however less aid is likely to be available.

The amount of Cal Grant funds available depends on a variety of factors, with funds being available for both tuition and living expense costs. Details regarding eligibility requirements can be found here and additional information regarding the Cal Grant application process can be found by following this LINK.
Registration Now Open for Foster Care Education Summit 

Registration is now open for the California Foster Youth Education Summit, taking place on April 18-19, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. This year’s program will focus on moving the goals of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) forward and will include discussions, presentations and workshops detailing best practice ideas on how school districts and stakeholders can use data, evaluation, and technical assistance to inform local planning processes and to engage in a cycle of continuous improvement that will close the achievement gap for students in foster care. To view the full conference program and to register to attend, click HERE.
New Report Finds Success Increases with More Financial Aid for Lowest Income Community College Students 

A new report jointly authored by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) and the California Community Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO) bolsters the argument for expanding access to financial aid for low-income students. Aiding Success: The Role of Federal and State Financial Aid in Supporting California Community College Students establishes that low-income students who receive more financial aid in their first year succeed at much higher rates than those who received less. While overall 30% of very low-income community college students graduated or transferred to a four-year university within six years, nearly half of the students who received more than $7,500 in financial aid graduated or transferred, compared to 17 percent of those who received between $1,001 and $2,500. In addition, students who received a combination of federal, state, and institutional grants/ waivers (such as the BOG fee waiver) had the highest rates of success.
 
The report includes a number of recommendations which include expanding mechanisms for supporting and encouraging students to apply for federal and state aid. This recommendation coincides with the provisions proposed in Senate Bill 12 (Beall). Specifically, SB 12 requires every county child welfare agency to identify a person to assist foster youth with applications for postsecondary education and financial aid, streamlines the financial aid verification process for foster youth, and expands on-campus college support programs to up to 10 more community college districts. All of these provisions will ensure that foster youth are receiving the combination of federal, state and institutional financial aid that this study shows is essential for college success.

Additional information regarding Senate Bill 12 can be found by downloading a fact sheet. Organizations interested in expressing support for the bill can click here for a sample letter. Support letters should be e-mailed to Luz Hernandez at luz@jbaforyouth.org.
Assembly Bill 214 (Weber) Seeks to Address College Campus Hunger  
 
Recent research indicates that nearly 25% of CSU students, 20% of UC students and half of community college students do not have access to adequate food or nutrition. Former foster youth are predominant in these statistics given little to no family support on top of the sacrifices in earnings that being a student often entails. To help reduce this barrier to success and alleviate college student hunger, the Western Center on Law and Policy is sponsoring Assembly Bill 214 (Weber). Designed to further remove the barriers that low-income students face in qualifying for CalFresh, the bill will clarify education policies to simplify the administration of CalFresh for college students. The bill also requires the California Student Aid Commission to inform students about how to verify their eligibility for CalFresh; and it clarifies definitions of on-campus food retailers required to participate in the CalFresh Restaurant Meals Program. To get more information and express your support for the bill, download the fact sheet and contact Jessica Bartholow, jbartholow@wclp.org, 916-282-5119.
TICAS Calls for Redirecting Middle Class Scholarship Funds to Expand Cal Grant Program 
 
In a statement evaluating Governor Brown’s proposal to phase out the Middle Class Scholarship (MCS) program in the 2017-2018 budget, The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) calls for redirecting the MCS $117 million annual allocation into the Cal Grant program. Targeted to support low-income students, the Cal Grant program is insufficiently funded to meet the needs of California students such that over 300,000 eligible applicants are turned away each year, including many foster youth. Data from the California Student Aid Commission shows that some lower income students do in fact receive MCS awards; awards that would be jeopardized by phasing out the MCS program.

TICAS has long argued that the Middle Class Scholarship fund would be better spent on the lower income students who face the highest financial hurdles through college. The Governor’s call for phasing out the MCS program provides the opportunity to better target that money to those who need it most. Reallocating all MCS funds to Cal Grants would result in an additional 18,000 high-need students receiveing Cal Grants. TICAS recommends that at a minimum, the estimated $60 million (51%) of annual MCS spending that is currently assisting students with family incomes that qualify them for Cal Grants should be redirected to the Cal Grant program. To read the full statement click HERE.
New Website Helps Empower Foster Youth to Make Fully-Informed Decisions About Their College Options 
 
A new website called FosteringQualityEducation.org was recently launched by the Children’s Advocacy Institute to guide foster youth through evaluating and choosing a college, with an emphasis on how to avoid for-profit institutions that may not be cost-effective and won’t necessarily deliver on promises made in marketing materials. Tips about how to evaluate the quality of a college, its suitability for the student, and making the most of financial aid are conveyed through informative and relatable videos. There are links to numerous websites with further assistance to help students navigate the landscape of private colleges and degree granting institutions and protect themselves from misleading advertising and, in some cases, even predatory practices.
New ESSA Guidance and Webinars Focus on College and Career Readiness
 
The “Every Student Succeeds Act” (ESSA) presents states with an opportunity to broaden their visions of college and career readiness by including multiple measures of accountability that recognize the multiple pathways to college and career readiness. This gives states an opportunity to promote their particular college and career readiness goals. The College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center recently published a new tool and will be hosting two webinars to support states in establishing their accountability measures under ESSA, one of which is specific to college and career readiness for foster youth.
 
The State Planning Tool for Standards-Based Accountability Under ESSA provides states with tools to recognize and correct gaps between ESSA and state policies and systems that support standards, assessments, accountability determinations, school improvement and public reporting. The first webinar, Promoting College and Career Readiness Through Accountability Under ESSA will take place on Thursday, February 23 from 11:00 am – 12:15 pm PT and will highlight state examples of accountability indicators to promote CCR and introduce the new planning tool. The second webinar, Role of Data to Support College and Career Readiness and Success for Students in Foster Care will take place on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 from 10:00 am to 11:15 pm PT and will provide concrete strategies to leverage the data collection and reporting requirements related to students in foster care to achieve college and career-ready goals. 
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John Burton Advocates for Youth · 235 Montgomery, Suite 1142 · Suite 1142 · San Francisco, California 94104 · USA