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January 13, 2014

Contact: Paige Marlatt Dorr
Office: 916.327.5356
Cell: 916.601.8005
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California Community Colleges Board of Governors Approves

Changes to Fee Waiver Provisions

Chancellor Brice W. Harris says new standards will help student success

SACRAMENTO – California community college students receiving fee waivers will have to meet minimum academic and progress standards to remain eligible for the financial assistance under new regulations adopted today by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

The new policy, which takes effect in fall of 2016, is a key component of the Board of Governors’ Student Success Initiative. The new regulations will work in concert with statewide enrollment priorities that will go into effect in fall 2014 to encourage students to focus on their classes and seek help when they face difficulties. Community colleges are putting in place more counseling and other support services to help students define their educational and career goals and stay on track to achieve them.
“We will do everything in our power to help students on financial aid succeed, but students need to know that they have a responsibility to keep up their end of the bargain,” said California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris. “This policy provides students with incentives to meet standards that will ultimately help them achieve their educational goals. It benefits students and it is responsible stewardship of state resources.”
Under the new regulations, students would lose eligibility for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver if they are on probation for not maintaining a 2.0 GPA for two consecutive primary terms or not successfully completing half the units attempted in that period.
Students must be notified of their probation status within 30 days of the end of the term for which they did not meet the standards, and districts are required to notify students of support services that are available to them. Foster youth are exempted from the policy and the board of governors did agree to study possible additional exemptions in the future. Districts are required to establish appeals processes that students can use to demonstrate extenuating circumstances.

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving more than 2 million students per year. Community colleges supply workforce training, basic skills courses in English and math, and prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. The Chancellor’s Office provides leadership, advocacy and support under the direction of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.