Higher Education Budget

Highlights of the 2018-19 Adopted Budget

Adopts a new approach to funding community colleges that encourages access and success for underserved students by providing additional resources to community colleges that enroll more low-income students and rewarding progress towards successful student outcomes.

Leverages existing Cal Grant investments to help community college students transfer to private, nonprofit colleges and universities on the Associate Degrees for Transfer pathway.

Creates a fully online California community college to expand access to opportunity to working adults who have only a high school diploma or some college, but no degree.

Details of the 2018-19 Adopted Budget

California Community Colleges

  • The 2018-19 budget provides an additional $725.3 million to California Community Colleges
  • Student-Focused Funding Formula –adopts a new funding formula for community colleges that better supports low-income students and focuses colleges on their success by moving away from the existing enrollment-based funding model. Instead, once finally implemented, 60% of funding would be determined by enrollment, 20% by the number of low-income students enrolled, and 20% by a number of key metrics that show students academic progression and success. The Student Success Funding Formula Oversight Committee was also established to monitor the implementation of the new fiscal policy and provide recommendations on any improvements that can be made. Read more about the funding formula here and watch the webinar below.
  • California Online College –Provides a one-time allocation of $100 million and another $20 million ongoing to develop and operate a fully online community college intended to serve disconnected adult workers. Also establishes a one-time fund of $35 million for existing community college districts to apply for competitive grants to support the development or expansion of their own online programs.
  • California College Promise – $46 million increase to support the implementation of the California College Promise (AB 19) and provide funds to community college districts so that they may offer a first free year of community college or other services to support college access for low-income students that already pay no tuition or fees.
  • Allocates $10 million for the California Community Colleges to provide undocumented and immigrant students with access to legal services by contracting with non-profit providers

To learn more about the 2018-2019 Budget Act Student Success Funding Formula, watch the co-hosted webinar below by the Campaign for College Opportunity and the California Community College Chancellor’s Office.

California State University

  • Increases funding by $364.1 million over 2017-18 levels, which will support enrollment growth for an additional 3,641 and direct $75 million towards the continued work of the CSU Graduation Initiative to improve student outcomes and reduce the time to degree.
  • Allocates $7 million for the California State University to provide undocumented and immigrant students with access to legal services by contracting with non-profit providers.


University of California

  • Increases funding by $274.2 million over 2017-18 levels, which will help support 500 additional seats to California resident students
  • Allocates $4 million towards UC Immigrant Legal Services to support ongoing and additional efforts to provide undocumented and immigrant students with access to legal services

Financial Aid

  • Cal Grants for Students at Private Nonprofit Institutions –Increases funding by nearly $8 million to maintain the current maximum Cal Grant tuition award at $9,084 for new students attending private nonprofit institutions, while also requiring that a minimum of 2,000 community college transfer students that obtained the Associated Degree for Transfer be admitted to these institutions in 2019-20, and another 3,000 the following year.
  • Student Success Completion Grant — An increase of $40.7 million in funding to support a streamlined and student-focused community college financial aid program that consolidates the current Full-Time Student Success Grant and Completion Grant. The program will augment the underlying grant amounts and base award levels on how many units a student takes in a semester or year, with the largest increase for students who take 15 units per semester or 30 units per year.
  • Allocates $5.2 million to expand Cal Grant eligibility criteria for former foster youth so they can better access financial aid.
  • Provides $7 million to the California Community Colleges to as distribute emergency student aid available to eligible, low-income AB 540 students.
  • Directs $13.5 million to the California Community Colleges to help update and improve financial aid technology systems

*Partial list of 2018-19 Budget items. Click here for a complete summary.