Possible Cal Grant Cuts Worry Fresno State Students

June 3, 2009 7:23:17 PM PDT
The Governor's proposal to eliminate the Cal Grant program has upset many students and parents. Cal Grants offer financial aid to lower income families.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

The excitement which accompanies visions of college life has been tempered by a economic reality. Money's tight and educational resources are drying up.

"Dog Days" are a time incoming Fresno State students tour the campus and learn more about their academic requirements.

Incoming freshmen and transfers wander about while their parents wonder how they're going to fund that education. Many worry the Cal Grant program may get eliminated. Nicholas Yockey, a transfer from Reedley College, said "Yeah it will affect me because obviously I'd have to pay more but obviously if there's a will there's a way so we'll just have to make it happen."

118-thousand students could have their financial aid canceled this fall. Nancy Kalender's son didn't receive a Cal Grant but she worries about future generations. The Dinuba woman said, "Especially the town I'm from and I work with students at schools and I wonder how these kids are going to get into college because Cal Grants for a lot of them would be the only way they could get in."

Parents are sending their kids to college on the heels of a recession. Last month CSU schools raised tuition by nine-point-three percent. UC schools cost ten-percent more.

Sonya Frazier-Stepps tells her daughter college is a time to focus her energy. She said, "The cost of school makes you want to do well because your family is making some large sacrifices. You have families re-mortgaging their homes and they're pooling from every aspect just to try to send you to school."

And the belief education remains the path to success was not lost on future bulldogs who say. "To get more money you have to get an education so you can't get one without the other."

28-hundred freshmen are set to attend Fresno State in the fall along with 19-hundred transfers. Elimination of the Cal Grant program is one option under consideration to help ease the state budget deficit.

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