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Cervantes Bill to Extend Application Deadline for State Financial Aid Programs Heads to Governor’s Desk

For immediate release:

(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Assembly Bill 1887 by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Riverside), Chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, was approved by the State Senate by a floor vote of 37-0 and sent to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk. AB 1887 would extend the application deadline for state financial aid programs, including the Cal Grant and Middle Class Scholarship, from April 2 to May 2. The bill is a response to the ongoing implementation issues with the federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which has left many California students unable to apply for financial aid and wreaked havoc on the enrollment timeline for colleges and universities.

“Making the path to fulfilling our students’ dreams of achieving higher education more affordable and accessible is among the Legislature’s highest duties, and I believe we have honored that duty by sending this bill to the Governor today,” said Assemblymember Cervantes. “I want to thank my colleagues in the Legislature—especially Speaker Robert Rivas and Senate President Pro Tem Mike McGuire—for working with me to move Assembly Bill 1887 rapidly through the legislative process so we can give California students more time to apply for financial aid.”

In late 2020, Congress passed the FAFSA Simplification Act, which was intended to streamline the FAFSA and make it more accessible for working families. This included reducing the number of questions asked of student applicants from more than 100 questions to less than 40.

However, the implementation of FAFSA reforms has not been easy. Delays in necessary technological upgrades and reduced staffing levels helped contribute to the new FAFSA being made available several months late in 2023. One significant problem is that students with parents who are undocumented have experienced an error message because their parents lack a Social Security number. This has rendered these students unable to complete the FAFSA. Nationwide, FAFSA submissions are down nearly 33 percent compared to the previous academic year.

Assembly Bill 1887 will extend the application deadline for state financial aid programs from April 2 to May 2. This will provide students with more time to complete the FAFSA so they can access the financial resources to begin their college educations in earnest. The bill will also allow the federal government to have more time to solve the ongoing implementation issues with the new FAFSA, including the barrier that is blocking students with parents who are undocumented from completing their applications. It will also provide our colleges and universities with more time to make admissions decisions, provide financial aid award offers, and finalize their enrollment decisions.

Assembly Bill 1887 will be sent to the desk of Gov. Newsom for his signature or veto. Because the bill has an urgency clause, it would take effect immediately if signed into law by the Governor. You can find more information about AB 1887 here.