Equity Alert: Improving Cal Grant Equity

Each year, over 300,000 eligible students are turned away from Cal Grant awards.

Ed Trust–West’s latest Equity Alert, Improving Cal Grant Equity, highlights three barriers to equity within the Cal Grant program, and offers recommendations for how policymakers can make immediate changes to benefit students.

The equity alert identifies three main fixes:

1. Fully fund and guarantee access to the Cal Grant program;

2. Adjust the Cal Grant to address non-tuition expenses; and

3. Expand the Cal Grant to support student transitions from high school to college.

Additional resources for improving equity in California’s Cal Grant program

For more on increasing college access and success, check out our Policy Agenda


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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.