To view this newsletter on our website or access it in a different format (i.e. HTML, plain text, Word or PDF), please visit the "I Can Afford College" Press Room.
Play “Watch & Win” for a Chance
at a $5,000 Scholarship
“I Can Afford College”, in partnership with iHeartMedia, is holding a “Watch & Win” sweepstakes in April and May, featuring the new “A Little Bit of Magic” video ad (read more about the new spot in the article below). Now through May 29, students from across California will have a chance to win cash and prizes to support their community college education. To enter the sweepstakes, students just need to watch Instagram star Zach King's "A Little Bit of Magic" video – a video produced for the “I Can” campaign, then answer three easy questions, and share to social media using the hashtag #ICanWinMoney. It’s that easy!
One lucky grand-prize winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship to help pay for college costs like fees, books and supplies. A second place winner will receive a MacBook Air and a third place winner will receive an iPad! Weekly prizes will be awarded as well.
Visit icanaffordcollege.com to watch the one-minute video and enter for your chance to win!
Sweepstakes ends at 11:59pm May 29, 2016. Sweepstakes open to California residents age 16 and older. Please visit official sweepstakes website for complete rules and restrictions. Sweepstakes and prizes provided by iHeartMedia.
A Little Bit of Magic with Zach King and
“I Can Afford College”
The next great "I Can Afford College” ad is here and it’s catchier than ever!
Titled “A Little Bit of Magic,” the video was produced in partnership with Instagram star, Zach King. Known for his YouTube videos and highly creative, technical and visual “magic Instagrams,” King helped bring a little bit of magic to the commercial with his digitally masterful on-screen tricks.
If the college in the video looks familiar, that’s because most of the ad was filmed on the Cerritos College campus in Norwalk, California. And if you look closely, you’ll see a cameo by Zach King himself.
“It’s exciting to be involved with the California Community Colleges on such a creative project,” said King. “The new ad encourages people to consider college as a way to follow their dreams and create a better life for themselves. It’s cool to be able to use video, and the tricks I’ve had so much fun creating, to raise awareness about the value of a college education and the fact that there’s money available to help cover the costs.”
Check out the new ad here.
The BOG Fee Waiver Celebrates its 30th Birthday Making Higher Education Dreams Come True Since 1985
Here’s the good news: California community colleges remain among some of the most affordable higher education options in the nation at just $46 per unit. However, we know that some students still need help with college costs. Thankfully, at California community colleges there’s a financial aid opportunity that is truly an essential resource. This year, the Board of Governors (BOG) Fee Waiver is celebrating its 30th birthday, and continues to open the door to higher education for hundreds of thousands in California who could not otherwise afford the enrollment fees.
The BOG Fee Waiver is a program that waives community college enrollment fees for students who are financially eligible and cannot afford the fees on their own. In the 30 years since its inception, the BOG Fee Waiver has enabled more than 5.1 million students to pursue their high education goals by exempting them from fees at any California community college. Today, more than 1 million of California’s 2.1 million community college students enrolled statewide receive a fee waiver, and 66 percent of the class units taught are attended by students whose fees are waived.
Over the past decade the BOG Fee Waiver applicant rate has grown by 86 percent and since the 2002-2003 academic year, the number of students receiving a waiver has increased by more than 500,000, representing a greater number of students than currently enrolled in the entire California State University system.
Students are eligible to apply for the BOG Fee Waiver if they are a California resident or are classified as an AB 540 student, and enrolled in at least one unit; however, applicants are not required to be enrolled in a specific number of units or courses to receive the exemption from enrollment fees. It is important to note that there are academic and progress standards that students need to meet for continued eligibility including maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher, and cumulative satisfactory completion of more than 50 percent of all coursework attempted.
To learn more about the BOG Fee Waiver or to get started with the application process, students are encouraged to visit www.icanaffordcollege.com. The California Community Colleges system is committed to raising awareness about the BOG Fee Waiver across the state so that it may continue to provide accessibility for students willing to invest their time to build a successful future. Help celebrate the BOG Fee Waiver 30th Birthday by spreading the word about this valuable resource and passing on the tradition of a quality and affordable education.
Say Hello to the Newest
California Community College:
Clovis Community College!
In July 2015, Clovis Community College officially became the 113th campus of the California Community Colleges system. The newest college serves more than 9,000 students and is part of the State Center Community College District, which is one of California’s largest community college districts, and includes Fresno City College and Reedley College.
The “I Can Afford College” campaign had the honor of interviewing Candy Cannon, Financial Aid Manager with Clovis Community College, to talk about the newly recognized institution, as well as hear about her more than 30 years of experience working in financial aid, of which, 25 years has been with the California Community Colleges system.
Q: What is the history of Clovis Community College?
A: In 1992, Clovis Community College was known as one of the North Centers of Reedley College. In 2007, we opened a brand new campus and at the time we were called the Willow International Center. In 2014, we changed our name to Clovis Community College Center and when we finally got recognized as a California community college, we dropped the Center and became Clovis Community College.
Q. How has being recognized as a California community college changed the campus?
A. It has been a wonderful transition that has opened up the door to provide more funds to the school and bring on new staff. We are also looking to expand our areas of study including health sciences and food safety.
Q: With more than 30 years of experience and knowledge, what can you tell us about how financial aid has changed through the years?
A: Financial aid and applying for financial aid has changed with technology. The application process went from being done manually to everything being done electronically. The attitudes of everyone in financial aid have changed as well, the colleges and the Department of Education act more as partners in an effort to assist students in getting everything they need to succeed.
Q: What is a highlight of your career?
A: Having the opportunity to assist in programming the financial aid module in 1999 when we were switching to a new computer system for financial aid.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: The students and being able to help them.
Q: We know financial aid provides monetary assistance to those who receive it but how does it contribute to the overall lifestyle of the individual?
A: Financial aid makes a big difference! Many students work full-time and try to go to school. Financial aid can help students reduce their work hours so they can focus more time and energy on reaching their goal. It can also be used for living expenses – which is a big relief for many students and often helps them get through school faster.
Q: What is the most important thing a student/parent should consider when applying for financial aid for the first time?
A: Don’t be afraid, just do it. Fill out the FAFSA and don’t have “form anxiety.” Take a deep breath and go through it one question at a time.
Q: What final advice would you give a student/parent applying for financial aid?
A: Understand the rules of financial aid, be sure to follow your college’s satisfactory academic progress guidelines and watch your grades.
The “I Can" campaign would like to thank Candy Cannon, and congratulate Clovis Community College on joining the California Community Colleges system. Check out Clovis Communtiy College at www.cloviscollege.edu.
CashCourse Helps Students
Manage Their Money
Financial skills are vital to a student’s success as they prepare for their future, which is exactly why the California Community Colleges partnered with the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) and CashCourse to help students improve their financial literacy.
When you’re a student on a budget, money always seems tight. CashCourse is a real life guide that helps students to take charge of their money. So far, more than 80 community colleges have signed up to use this financial management tool.
CashCourse is easy to use and offers a customizable set of tools that helps students to make smart financial decisions.
The CashCourse program, accessible via www.icanaffordcollege.com, helps build money management skills through articles, videos, a financial dictionary, and software that helps students understand and build budgets.
Getting started is easy. Just go to www.icanaffordcollege.com and click on the Financial Aid Info tab and then on Financial Literacy. From there, students learn about the program and get directly connected to CashCourse where they can browse topics such as "Money 101," "Paying for Education," "Working and Earning," "Financial Tools" and much more."
Best of all, it’s free! Check it out today and get on the right path for a strong financial future!
Transferring From a Community College to a CSU or UC is Easier Than Ever
Many students start their higher education journey at a community college. In California, students may want to transfer from a community college to a University of California (UC) or California State University (CSU) campus but need a plan of action. Research is clear that students who begin college with at least a tentative education plan are more likely to reach their goals.
The old transfer processes were complicated, and it was easy for students to get frustrated, confused and waste time and money when university admission requirements changed or varied by campus. Fortunately, now students thinking about transferring have two great – and free – resources to help make the process easier.
The University of California’s Transfer Pathways
The Transfer Pathways program, introduced in July 2015, was designed to simplify California community college students’ admissions process and help them prepare for transfer to a UC campus. The program outlines a single set of community college courses that prospective transfer students can take to prepare for a particular major at any of UC’s nine undergraduate campuses.
To learn more about the UC Transfer Pathways, click here.
Associate Degrees for Transfer
The Associate Degree for Transfer (AA-T or AS-T) is a fairly new degree offered at California community colleges. To pursue this special degree rather than a traditional AA or AS degree, students should meet with a counselor to develop an education plan that puts them on the path toward the AA-T or AS-T degree.
The good news is the degree comes with a guarantee! The guarantee itself means that students who earn an AA-T or AS-T degree and meet the California State University (CSU) minimum eligibility requirements are guaranteed admission to a CSU, but not necessarily to a particular campus or major. With the special degree, students may be given a GPA bump when applying to an impacted campus outside their local area or an impacted major that is deemed similar.
Once at the CSU, students who are admitted and enrolled in a designated similar degree program have the opportunity to complete their bachelor’s degree with as little as 60 additional semester units or 90 quarter units of coursework. It is still important to apply to the colleges that interest you and follow admissions deadlines to be considered.
The California Community Colleges and CSU have made it easier than ever for students to chart their path to a bachelor’s degree with a new search tool on the website, ADegreeWithAGuarantee.com. The tool allows students to search degrees offered at different community colleges and identify CSU campuses as potential transfer destinations for earning bachelor’s degrees in the same discipline.
Currently, more than 1,900 associate degrees for transfer are offered in many different areas of study. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the Associate Degree for Transfer program doubled the number of degrees awarded from the previous year.
To learn more about ADT program, click here.
Ready. Set. Go!
More UC Pathways and Associate Degrees for Transfer are in the approval process so be sure to check the websites regularly for the most up-to-date information on these transfer programs.