Illustration by Vanessa Tran / Times staff
State Chancellor Eloy Oakley held the last press conference of the semester on May 6 to discuss the vaccine, new Cal Grant reform and congress.
The State Chancellor starts the conference with news that campuses will be opening this fall, information on the vaccine and how it will be used to reopen campus.
“We strongly encourage students to get vaccinated in order to be on campus this upcoming semester,” Oakley said.
The COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone for free in California, 16 and older. No medical insurance is needed to schedule a vaccine appointment.
“Getting vaccinated will help reduce the spread, and help reduce threats from any new variants,” Oakley said.
More information about vaccines and how to schedule an appointment is available on MyTurn.California.Gov.
He said it is a lot easier to get a vaccine today than it was a month ago.
Many UCs and CSUs will be requiring students, staff and faculty to be vaccinated in order to be able to step foot on campus, while community colleges are still deciding.
“California Community Colleges were broken up to 73 districts, we are encouraging our districts to ensure that all faculty and staff are vaccinated and to strongly encourage our students to get it back as well,” Oakley said.
A bill is making its way through the legislature and congress in order to provide more financial aid to community college students, he said.
“AB 1456 proposes to change the Cal Grant program so that there are no more GPA verification requirements, no time at a high school and age requirements and a new application deadline,” he said.
The bill will also provide $108.5 million toward the Calfresh benefits program aimed for students who are struggling with their financial situation.
Oakley said the changes with the Cal Grant will increase eligibility, thus leading to a 300% increase.
For more information on the Cal Grant, financial aid and how to apply visit TrueCollegeCosts.com.
“Good news from D.C, the Biden Administration will be investing into families like yours,” Oakley said.
The American Families Plan is a $1.8 trillion plan. The plan’s goal is to expand the access of higher education among the country, reduce the cost of childcare and provide more worker protections, he said.
Having students and staff being aware of the American Families Plan will help congress recognize the benefits the plan will have among community college and the student, he said.
Oakley said, “They include $100 and $9 billion to offer two years of free community college and free community college to all Americans.”