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Cal Grants Should Be Equalized and Preserved

February 15, 2004

Re "Cal Grants Program Faces $30-Million Cut," Feb. 10: The current Cal Grant awards that provide a student $9,708 per year to attend a private university but only $4,984 to attend a public California university are unfair to public university students and the taxpayers. Private universities often have huge private endowments to support student scholarships. Public universities do not.

The state cannot worsen its indebtedness to underwrite private colleges. If the California State University system can educate a student for a $7,000-per-year average cost, why should the taxpayers underwrite a more expensive private college education? All students who qualify for Cal Grants should receive exactly the same award.

Ed Forde

Professor, Art

Cal State Los Angeles

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The article on the proposal to cut funding for Cal Grants points to a disturbing national trend: the failure to support education spending. Despite the fact that California now has to import 25% of people with bachelor's degrees, we continue to enact policies that deny students access to college. We are creating a "perfect storm" for our college-going youth. We are cutting Cal Grants, raising fees and capping enrollment at the University of California and the Cal State universities. Four years from now, we will wonder why more students aren't going to college. We will forget that the quick-fix policies we enacted penalized our students and our excellent public and private institutions.

For long-term economic growth, California's future is dependent on an educated society. Access to an affordable education is not a luxury; it's a necessity -- for all of us.

Esther Hugo

Manhattan Beach

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