Private Universities Oppose Cal Grant Cuts

U-T San Diego -- For Bree Burris, Wednesday’s trip to Sacramento to lobby against the proposed Cal Grant cuts in Gov. Jerry Brown’s 2012-13 budget is high stakes.

“In my circumstances, every penny counts,” said the 19-year-old Point Loma Nazarene University freshman. “If the pennies aren’t there, I would have to leave Point Loma. It’s a miracle that the finances even worked for me to come in the first place.”

Brown’s proposal would save $111.5 million by cutting the maximum Cal Grant available to private university students by 44 percent, from $9,708 to $5,472, affecting almost 31,000 undergraduates, according to the California Department of Finance.

The proposal has leaders of private institutions alarmed.

“It is draconian,” said Mary Lyons, president of the University of San Diego. “Those grants were designed for the neediest students. If this puts them out of range of USD and other private schools, I don’t know where they are going to go” with public colleges also affected by budget cuts. (Full Story