Chiu Bill to Provide Emergency Financial Aid Signed By Governor

Friday, October 4, 2019

Law will provide emergency grants for students with unforeseen financial hardships

Sacramento, CA--A bill authored by Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) that would provide community college students with emergency financial aid was signed by Governor Gavin Newsom today. Assembly Bill 943 would allow community colleges to administer emergency grants to help stabilize students in financial crisis in order to continue their education.

“With the cost of education as high as it is, many students are just one financial crisis away from being forced to drop out of school,” said Assemblymember Chiu. “We want to give students who experience an emergency a bit of stability so they can continue their studies.”  

As a college education becomes more expensive, students are finding it increasingly difficult to afford basic needs like housing, food, and transportation. Studies have shown that experiencing just one financial emergency can force a student to drop out of school and derail their entire college career.

This new law will provide a small safety net for a student experiencing an unforeseen financial emergency like an eviction, sudden illness, or the death of a family member. Allowing community colleges to offer small grants throughout the semester will improve student success, retention, and completion rates. 

The California Federation of Teachers, Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC), City College of San Francisco Faculty Union, AFT 2121, Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, AFT 2279, and Scholarship America are cosponsoring AB 943.

“This is a great day for our most vulnerable community college students,” said Dean Murakami, Vice President of FACCC and President of AFT 2279. “We look forward to working with the stakeholders to ensure that AB 943 is fully implemented. I want to thank Assemblyman David Chiu for his leadership and passion on this very important issue.”

"We applaud Governor Newsom for his signature on AB 943 and bill author Assemblyman David Chiu for his longstanding leadership on the issue of emergency aid,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “AB 943 will offer colleges access to impactful resources to keep community college students on campus and on the path to transfer or earning their degree or credential.”

AB 943 will go into effect on January 1, 2020.