California Community Colleges Chancellor wants undocumented students to apply for Cal grant

Jimmy Aleman, Reporter

An important teleconference was hosted by Paige Marlatt Dorr regarding California Community Colleges, on Jan. 23. Chancellor Eloy Oakley was the spokesman for the variety of topics discussed at the student media teleconference. Some of the topics discussed included but not limited to were financial aid, Cal grants, state budget, federal funding, and California Department of Public Health guidelines.
Chancellor Oakley kicked off the afternoon at the teleconference meeting with great news. Oakley gave news that the federal government has passed another stimulation package to support students going through hard times due to the epidemic. The stimulation package is estimated to be 290 million dollars to assist to California community colleges. Currently, Bakersfield College is working on a distribution plan. The new stimulation package would be more flexible for students.
“Similar to the previous cares act distribution plan, but it won’t have all the strict eligibility requirements that were attached to the last round of funds from the previous administration so that’s very good news,” Chancellor Oakley said.
Besides, Government Newsome’s investment Proposal of a 250 million dollars state budget package was successful. Out of the 250 million dollars state budget package, only 100 Million dollars was approved for the spring semester of 2021. Oakley further mentioned that the proposed “emergency student financial assistant grant” by Newsome would be an early action package compared to that of the simulation package.
Oakley wanted everyone to know how important dates for this spring semester. Oakley said that the Cal grants deadline is set to be on March 2 and it is important to advise undocumented students to fill out the California Dream Act, if they haven’t received financial aid. In addition, students are advised to fill out both Cal grant and FAFSA applications to receive all the aid they can get. If students have any questions regarding the Cal grant and FAFSA application, they can visit the California Dream Act’s website for assistant. Oakley said everyone is encouraged to fill out applications, that is the only way to truly know if students are eligible or not.
Since the vaccination has been announced the question has risen to when college campuses are going to reopen. Oakley believes it would be sooner than we expect, “we are beginning to think about fall of 2021 or even the summer to see some possible in person instruction begin to happen, this is a top priority for us in the chancellor’s office and I know it is for the leaders across the system.”
For now, all college campuses can do is wait for the approval of the California Department of Public Health. They would let college campuses know the rightful guideline to open campuses in the future.