Reaffirming the Importance of Graduate, Post Baccalaureate, and Credential Programs and Access to Those Programs

AS-3122-13/AA (Rev)

RESOLVED: That the Academic Senate of the California State University (ASCSU) reaffirm the importance of graduate, post-baccalaureate, and credential programs to the California State University (CSU) system, to the public good and to the economy of the State of California itself; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Board of Trustees to continue to provide access to select graduate, post-baccalaureate and credential programs by students of limited financial means through the State University Grant (SUG) program and other financial aid and scholarship opportunities (http://www.calstate.edu/budget/fybudget/2012-2013/documentation/10-financial-aid-state-university-grant-table.shtml; http://www.calstate.edu/ip/prospective-students/financing.shtml); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the campus Presidents or their designees to explore increasing access to CSU graduate, post-baccalaureate, and credential programs by, for example, waiving fees for graduate, post-baccalaureate and credential students of limited financial means or those who are employed as research
assistants or teaching assistants (http://www.calstate.edu/EO/EO-611.pdf); and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU urge the Chancellor’s Office to establish a task force including representatives selected by the ASCSU to review recently-enacted policies and to explore fellowships, grants, and other forms of financial aid to be made available in order to attract the best students to graduate, post-baccalaureate and credential programs in the CSU; and be it further

RESOLVED: That the ASCSU distribute this resolution to the Board of Trustees, the Chancellor, campus Presidents, campus Provosts, campus Senate Chairs, and the California State Student Association.

RATIONALE: AS-2534-01/AA, New Study of Post-Baccalaureate Programs in the CSU (http://www.calstate.edu/AcadSen/Records/Resolutions/2000-2001/2534.shtml) cites the importance of graduate programs in the CSU: “The need for increased attention to the graduate level, including research, has been advanced as an area of growing concern not only within institutions of higher education but externally as well. Business and industry leaders in biotechnology, engineering, computer science, and other fields have expressed concern about the availability of graduate students and the linkages between research--be it pure or applied--and the needs of the State. . .”

The CSU, as a state serving institution, continues to enroll graduate students who are personally impacted financially by a slow California economic recovery where decisions to attend a graduate program often depend on the amount of aid available. With the loss of subsidized loans, our graduate students needing financial aid will find themselves paying the standard loan rates which often depend on credit history and could prove financially disastrous for those who may be returning to school needing to retool for new jobs, upgrade employmentrelated skills to function in the highly competitive job market, enter professional programs that require graduate degrees, and prepare for faculty teaching positions.

The State University Grant (SUG) program provides need-based awards to cover a portion of the State Tuition Fee for eligible undergraduate, graduate, and post baccalaureate students who are California residents or are otherwise determined as eligible. Systemwide, the priority is to award a SUG at least equal to the amount of the State Tuition Fee to eligible students who apply for financial aid by March 2, who have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $800 or less, and who are not receiving a Cal Grant or other award designated to cover fees. Each campus has established local awarding policies and priorities for these funds.

According to the 2012/2013 Support Budget Supplemental Documentation (http://www.calstate.edu/budget/fybudget/2012-2013/documentation/10-financial-aid-state-university-grant-table.shtml), General Fund support for the State University Grant (SUG) program remains at the $33.7 million level of support funded in 1992/93. In March 1993, the CSU Board of Trustees unanimously approved the framework for a new student fee and financial aid policy that called for dedicating one-third of annual incremental fee revenues to augment the SUG program. Absent additional increases in state support for the SUG program, the Board approved set-aside of fee revenue has been the only source of funding CSU institutional grant aid.

Annual reviews of campus-reported data on eligible financial aid applicants and recipients are used to determine the number of students who qualify for SUG and the total funding for which they are eligible based on enrollment status and fees paid and the level of their expected family contribution. Preliminary 2010/11 estimates reflect 125,677 CSU students received SUG awards out of 201,395
eligible students. CSU allocations for the SUG program represents allowances for foregone revenue the university would have received.

Executive Order No. 611 (http://www.calstate.edu/EO/EO-611.pdf) is the Delegation of Authority to Approve Fee Waivers for Graduate Students Employed as Graduate Assistants or Teaching Associates.

This Executive Order, along with other policies governing the awarding of various forms of financial aid as well as State University Grants (including the new limitations on SUGs that take effect in Fall 2013), should be reviewed by a task force that includes faculty. The task force can then evaluate the impact of these policies and make recommendations as appropriate.

Approved Unanimously – May 16-17, 2013

 



 
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