HBCUs, Transfer, California

California Governor Newsom Signs Bill To Grant $5K To Students Who Transfer To HBCUs

California has no historically Black colleges or universities; however, Governor Gavin Newsom has just signed a bill that will grant up to $5,000 to community college students looking to transfer to out-of-state Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Blavity reports.

The AB1400 bill, drafted by Assembly Majority Leader Isaac Bryan, seeks to create an easier journey for California residents to enjoy an HBCU experience and then return to the Sunshine State.

“AB 1400 creatively redirects funds to support California’s students looking to transfer to an HBCU and bring their talents back to California,” Marlene Garcia, executive director of the California Student Aid Commission, said.

Many community college students face financial hurdles that make paying out-of-state tuition without significant aid a barrier to attending an HBCU. The new law hopes to “create a California-to-HBCU-to-California pipeline that would benefit not only our students, but the entire state,” Ed Source reports.

Changes to revenue brought in by the California College Access Tax Credit was a deciding factor in helping to push the bill into law. Redirecting funds to low-income students will provide “more meaningful and impactful support,” the outlet reports. According to the bill, only 53 community college students transferred to HBCUs in the 2021 to 2022 fiscal year.

Though HBCU enrollment has been steadily on the rise, a majority of students attending the institutions rely on financial assistance to offset costs, the National Center for Education Statistics reports. Ninety percent of HBCU undergraduate students received financial assistance in 2019-20, with 83 percent receiving grants, 65 percent procuring loans, and only four percent receiving work-study grants.

There has also been an increase in the amount of non-Black students enrolling at HBCUs. The outlet reports that 25 percent of HBCU enrollment is now made up of non-Black attendees, which was as low as 15 percent a mere few decades ago. With affirmative action on the federal chopping block, HBCU enrollment is expected to continue to rise alongside concerns about resources, lack of funding, and outdated infrastructure.