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Assembly Approves Cervantes “Housing Cost of Attendance Act”

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, the Assembly unanimously approved Assembly Bill 710, “The Housing Cost of Attendance Act,” by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona). AB 710 would address student homelessness and college affordability by ensuring housing costs provided to students are calculated in a fair, consistent, and accurate way every year.

Currently, postsecondary institutions have considerable discretion over how they estimate each type of cost that comprises the cost of attendance (COA). Federal law specifies the total cost of college includes the following—tuition and fees, books and supplies, food and housing, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses. However, there is no standard system wide methodology for calculating a student’s off-campus housing costs often resulting in misleading estimates.

In an effort to increase accuracy and transparency, AB 710 will require postsecondary institutions to update the calculation for room and board each fiscal year using publicly accessible data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

“As college affordability continues to be a challenge, students with limited resources should not encounter a system that miscalculates housing costs,” Assemblymember Cervantes said. “Overestimated college costs often lead students to take out more loans than necessary, resulting in insurmountable amounts of debt. Current and prospective students and their families deserve to have accurate information in order to make informed decisions about college at every stage of the process.”

AB 710 is supported by the California State Student Association. The bill will next be sent to the Senate to await a hearing by a Senate policy committee. You can find more information about AB 710 here.

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Sabrina Cervantes proudly represents the 60th District of the California State Assembly, which encompasses the cities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, a portion of Riverside, and the unincorporated communities of Coronita, El Cerrito, and Home Gardens. Cervantes serves as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.