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Friday, 10 February 2012 16:45

Speaker Pérez: Middle Class Scholarship Act Can Cut College Fees by 2/3

Sacramento - In this Democratic weekly address, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) discusses his Middle Class Scholarship Act, which could cut fees at California state colleges by up to two-thirds for students whose family income is under $150,000 and who are not eligible for financial aid grants. The Speaker’s legislation, AB 1500 and AB 1501, funds the Middle Class Scholarship by closing a tax loophole that lets out-of-state corporations take $1 billion out of California every year. If passed, the Middle Class Scholarship could save CSU students roughly $4,000 a year and UC students $8,2000 a year. Community colleges would get $150 million to increase affordability for their students.

For more information on the Middle Class Scholarship Act, visit

Click on the following link for the English language MP3 file. The running time is: 2:32.

Website of Speaker John A. Pérez:


Announcer: This week, Assembly Speaker John Pérez introduced the Middle Class Scholarship Act. He spoke with students at the University of California, Davis about the proposal to reduce the cost of higher education by two-thirds. Here are some of his remarks.

Speaker Pérez: The California Middle Class Scholarship Act is very simple. Too many families are getting squeezed out of higher education. For students whose families make $150,000 a year or less, too much to qualify for our current financial aid system, but not enough to be able to write a check for the cost of education, without feeling that pinch, the Middle Class Scholarship Act reduces fees at the UC system and at the CSU system by two-thirds, giving tremendous assistance to those families to make college affordable again.

The Middle Class Scholarship Act will save students at the CSU system $4,000 a year or roughly $16,000 over the course of their time at the CSU system. In the UC system, it’ll save students and their families $8,200 a year, roughly $33,000 over the course of their time in school.

Additionally, for students in the community college system, we’ve set aside $150 million dollars to make community colleges more affordable throughout the state as well. Since 2003-2004, the cost of going to UC and CSU has increased tremendously.

At the CSU system, we’ve increased fees since 2003-2004 by 191 percent; at the UC system, by 145 percent. We pay for the Middle Class Scholarship Act by closing a loophole that only benefits big, out-of-state corporations.

California’s public colleges and universities has been one of our most prestigious institutions, and, unfortunately, because of the collapse of the economy, we’ve moved away from fully investing in those universities and colleges. The Middle Class Scholarship Act intends to turn that around.

Announcer: Speaker Pérez also issued a call to action, inviting students to share their stories about paying for college.

Speaker Pérez: I hope students and their families go to There you’ll find the facts and figures behind the Middle Class Scholarship.

There’s also a place where you can upload your own stories about paying for college. And I believe those stories will be extremely valuable in helping us get the vote we need in the legislature, to pass the Middle Class Scholarship Act.

Announcer: Thank you for listening to the Democratic Weekly Address.

CONTACT: John Vigna (916) 319-2408