The California state-wide program will reward thousands of college students with $10,000 for community service work toward their college costs.
In a report by TheHill, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program this week, saying it will provide volunteers in climate action, K-12 education, and recovery from COVID-19 to up to 6,500 college students over the course of two academic years.
After completing a year of service, they will receive a $10,000 scholarship, which will reduce the number of loans needed to fund their education.
In addition to the University of California school system and California State University, 45 California colleges and universities have joined the initiative.
In California, nearly 4 million residents owe $147 billion in student loans, with Blacks and Latinos experiencing the greatest number of defaults and delinquency.
“The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation,” Newsom said.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that from 2008-09 to 2018-19, public universities charged 28 percent more for undergraduate tuition, fees, and room and board, while private nonprofits charged 19 percent more.
With #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, California is attempting to combat those cost increases, and state universities have committed to joining the cause.
“Providing more pathways to a debt-free degree while empowering students to pursue service-oriented career paths is a reflection of our shared commitment to access, affordability, and public service,” UC President Michael V. Drake said.
Furthermore, under the program, even undocumented “Dreamers” will have the opportunity to qualify for the financial support provided they meet in-state tuition requirements and serve as volunteers at organizations supporting the critical issue areas.
Earlier, President Biden was urged by a group of lawmakers to act on student loan forgiveness as a contentious issue at the federal level.
Rep. Ayana Pressley (D) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) released a statement calling for the cancellation of federal student debt of $50,000 by executive action.
Before that, Biden pushed the federal student loan forbearance period to May 2022 due to the coronavirus outbreak.