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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

No support offered to the middle class

Photo credit: Katia Berg

Going to college is going to get even harder for students who receive minimal financial aid benefits with governor Jerry Brown’s plan to cut out the Middle-Class Scholarship.

The scholarship helps families who earn under $155,00 pay for their child’s tuition. The scholarship ranges from about a couple hundred dollars to over $5,000 according to the Calfornia Student Aid Commission.

Brown wants to cut these funds and if the budget passes, students coming in during the school year 2017-18 would not receive any middle-class scholarship money. The low-income Cal Grant and the Dream Act funds remain.

The middle class represents the struggle that a lot of college students and their families face. Many parents work jobs that barely pay for their child’s tuition but are also too well-off to get a grant that tends to be reserved for the poor.

According to Daily News, Jerry Brown would be axing the financial aid program for nearly 50,000 students in order to save money and help close a nearly $2 billion budget gap.

The budget reads “To maintain the broad Cal Grant entitlement for the state’s neediest students, the Budget proposes a phase-out of the Middle-Class Scholarship program.” Brown hopes that by 2021 the state will have achieved a savings of approximately $115 million.

The state needs to support middle-class families. The wealthier families have no trouble continuing to pay for these high tuitions as well as lower-income families who have financial aid supporting their tuition. It is the middle class that is beginning to have trouble paying for the cost of a UC or CSU education.

On March 22, the CSU tuition increase passed on a 7 to 2 vote, according to US News. The increased tuition went up by 5 percent, causing undergrads to have to pay an extra $270 for the 2017-18 school year. This can heavily affect those in the middle class, especially since most of them are not eligible for financial aid.

These middle-class families must find a way to send their children to college without the assistance of scholarships or financial aid. These universities are slowly losing the middle-class students.

Brown is not touching scholarship funding for illegal immigrant students. Perhaps cutting some from both ends would help more than completely cutting out the Middle-Class Scholarship.

Rachel Reyes can be reached at [email protected] or @rachhreyes on Twitter.

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