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Cal State graduate students will keep tuition aid

Cal State Long Beach

California State University graduate students will continue to receive tuition grants next fall, after the financially-strapped system decided this week not to reallocate $80 million of the financial aid funds for other uses.

Students learned last week that Cal State was considering eliminating tuition grants for graduate students and launched an online petition drive, gathering 2,500 signatures to save the aid. Many said they could not stay in school without the grants, which typically cover $6,930 in graduate costs each year.

The $430-million grant program currently covers tuition for about 120,000 low-income and other needy students, including about half of the university’s 40,000 post grads.

After losing $950 million in state funding this year and facing another potential $200-million cut next year, Chancellor Charles Reed and presidents of the system’s 23 campuses met Wednesday to consider whether the tuition grants allocated to graduate students might be better spent on other programs.

Cal State spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said that before meeting with a student delegation, officials had already decided to continue providing the aid for post-grads for the 2012-13 academic year. He said, however, that the policy will remain under review.


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Photo: Strike signs site on the campus of Cal State Long Beach during a March 1 protest against education cuts. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

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