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Students tell Legislators about the Crushing Total Cost of College

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymembers Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto) and Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) released the following statements after meeting with students and education leaders to discuss college affordability and student needs such as food, housing, and mental health care:

Assemblymembers Dr. Joaquin Arambula and Marc Berman.

“I am incredibly moved by the powerful, passionate, and very personal stories we heard from students across California. While college is meant to be intellectually challenging, far too many of today’s students are facing life challenges that reach far outside the lecture hall,” said Assemblymember Berman, who chairs the Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. “The total cost of attending college - for food, housing, and health care, in addition to tuition and books - is crippling students and undermining their ability to succeed in the classroom. Many students are struggling to make ends meet, working multiple jobs and relying on food pantries to eat and friends’ couches to sleep. I’m grateful to the students we heard from yesterday, and look forward to working with them to address the issues they raised.”

Legislators met with students and education leaders at Fresno City College, in the third of five hearings being held statewide by the Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California. 

“The future of California’s higher education system is critical to our region’s growth and prosperity,” said Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (Fresno). “I am pleased that we held the committee hearing in Fresno, which will ensure that our voices are heard in Sacramento. It’s time for the Master Plan to be updated so we can adequately prepare all of our students for success.”

In 1960, California developed a visionary plan for the future of higher education. Known as the Master Plan, the document sought to provide guidance to the state’s higher education segments - California Community Colleges, the California State University, and the University of California. However much has changed since the Master Plan was written and our higher education system must respond to a host of issues never previously envisioned.

The Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education, which was established in March 2017, is conducting a thorough review of the Master Plan. Previous hearings provided an overview of the state’s higher education segments and workforce needs.

The Assembly Select Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California convenes at Fresno City College to discuss students’ needs.

Assemblymembers Marc Berman and Jose Medina with Fresno City College President Dr. Carole Goldsmith, Central Valley Higher Education Consortium Executive Director Benjamin Duran, and students.

Assemblymembers Marc Berman and Jose Medina with students from UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara.

Dr. Denise Bevly, director of the Student Wellness and Basic Needs Initiative at the California State University Office of the Chancellor, presenting on food insecurity on CSU campuses.

Legislators Dr. Joaquin Aramubla, Marc Berman, and Benjamin Allen at Fresno City College for an informational hearing on students’ needs.

Photos courtesy of the Offices of Assemblymember Marc Berman and Dr. Joaquin Arambula.

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024