Veterans Could Get Improved Access to Cal Grants Under Bill on Governor’s Desk

For immediate release:

A bill expanding access to state financial aid for veterans is headed to Governor Jerry Brown's desk.

The California State Senate today approved AB 1361, by Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood), which allows current or former members of the United States Armed Forces to apply for Cal Grant financial aid regardless of their age, as long as they were honorably discharged and graduated high school after June 30, 2000.

"I am thrilled that the Senate approved this commonsense measure without opposition," Burke said. "It is crucial to remove barriers to education for our returning veterans. They have already given us so much, we must do everything we can do give back to them."

Since 2007, the California Community College Transfer Entitlement award has been available to students under 28 years of age who meet other eligibility requirements. For veterans, who often begin their college studies later than their civilian peers, the age cap has been a barrier to higher education. 53,000 community college students in California are veterans. More than half of those, according to the California Community College Chancellor's office, are over 30.

"Veterans face many challenges when they complete their service and return home," Burke continued. "Cal Grants can unlock the door to new career opportunities in civilian life and should make sure they don't come with an expiration date."

AB 1361 passed the Senate floor 39-0. The Governor has until October 11 to sign it.

Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke represents the 62nd Assembly District, which consists of the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale, El Segundo, and Gardena as well as the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, and parts of Del Rey. Additionally, the 62nd Assembly District includes the unincorporated Los Angeles County communities of Del Aire, West Athens, Lennox, Westmont, and Marina del Rey.