Fresno State Makes a Hefty Loan to California

January 23, 2009 3:17:46 PM PST
At Fresno State there are long lines at the cashier's window as students pay their fees for the spring semester. "Students are trying to come to school to get their education taken care of so they are marketable in the workforce obviously they need money to do that,"Financial Aid Director Maria Hernandez.

But paying for college got a lot more difficult when the state announced payment for CAL grants would be delayed for 30 days. Financial Aid Director Maria Hernandez said students who need financial aid couldn't wait that long. "Not being able to buy books pay rent on time, the campus took the initiative to go ahead and disperse the money to them."

Fresno State is now loaning the state more than $7 million dollars by paying out CAL grants to students. Vice president of admissions Bernie Vinovrksi said, "If we did not take this risk there probably would be literally several thousand students that would not be able to be here right now. What would they do...what would they do?"

With an unsettled state budget many are unsure when or if the university will get that money back. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, president of administrative services issued a statement saying, "In the unlikely event that the CSU would not be reimbursed for CAL Grants already disbursed, the ultimate impact would be a future budget reduction, equal to the unreimbursed amount."

That's on top of the $9.9 million dollars in budget cuts Fresno State is already being asked to make. Vinovrski said future cuts can't be ruled out either. "Perhaps, perhaps we will have to cut classes they'll be for that will come it will impact our enrollment."

Traffic on campus is heavier than ever as students go about their day, rushing to class. Administrators said because they are helping with students pay for tuition students like Matthew Perrodin hasn't noticed any changes.

"I received my financial aid so I'm happy," said one student.

Administrators said that's the result they were hoping for as they wait on the state to honor its debt.

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