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I Can Afford College
 
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Description
What this program is all about...

The California Community College enrollment fee was raised significantly in 2003 and 2004.

Because of the increases, many Californians were concerned that students from lower-income households would be discouraged from enrolling in a community college because it would seem unaffordable. So the Legislature and Governor set aside money from within the community college budget to increase awareness about financial aid opportunities and to hire additional staff to provide students with free one-on-one help identifying those opportunities and applying for them.

This effort is aimed at low-income high school students, currently enrolled community college students, and other low-income Californians.

Nearly 2 million people have visited the I Can Afford College website since the campaign began and the number of community college students receiving some type of financial aid has increased by 36.6 percent.

The California Community Colleges currently serves more than one million students with financial aid totaling approximately $2.2 billion. While these numbers are large, there is still evidence that many Californians are unaware of their eligibility for financial aid at a community college. Community college financial aid offices historically have not had the resources to make sure that all eligible students were aware of the opportunities available to them and to assist all eligible students to complete the application process. However, the funding from this initiative is helping the campuses reach and assist greater numbers of students.

A major statewide effort is underway to let students and their families know that:

California Community Colleges remain affordable;
Financial aid is available to cover enrollment fees and help with other costs such as books, supplies and even rent;
Financial aid experts are located on all 112 campuses and are available to provide free one-on-one assistance.