UC Berkeley announces new financial aid plan for middle-income families

Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, along with other members of the UC Berkeley administration, held a press conference to announce a new financial aid plan targetted at middle class families.
Kevin Foote/Senior Staff
Chancellor Robert Birgeneau, along with other members of the UC Berkeley administration, held a press conference to announce a new financial aid plan targetted at middle class families.

UC Berkeley officials announced a new financial aid plan Wednesday for middle-income families that caps parent contribution toward undergraduate student education at no more than 15 percent of family income.

Starting next academic year, students whose families’ gross income ranges from $80,000 to $140,000 annually and have assets of less than $200,000 — excluding the value of a home and retirement savings — will qualify for the initiative called Berkeley Middle Class Access Plan. This plan makes UC Berkeley the first public university in the nation to have comprehensive financial aid to this category of middle-class families, campus officials said at a press conference in Haas Pavilion.

This announcement comes a day after Gov. Jerry Brown slashed the University of California’s budget by $100 million, bringing the total budget reductions for the system to $750 million for the current fiscal year.

By guaranteeing aid to students who fall within the middle-income range, the plan will substantially increase the number of students in this income band who will receive financial aid, according to campus Vice Chancellor Frank Yeary. Yeary said that while the percentage of students whose family incomes fall above or below the $80,000 to $140,000 range has increased recently, the percentage of students from middle-income families has decreased.

About 6,000 undergraduates come from families with income in this range, according to Anne De Luca, acting associate vice chancellor of admissions and enrollment.

The new plan only affects the parent contribution, leaving the student self-help cost unchanged, De Luca said.  The student self-help cost is constant for all students regardless of family income level and averaged at $8,900 over the last four years but cost $8,000 this year, said Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

The plan will cost $10 million to $12 million over the 2012-2013 academic year. The campus will cover the cost through increased philanthropy, by redirecting financial aid resources and through revenue from the increased number of students paying non-resident tuition.

Although this plan is meant to help in-state students, De Luca said non-resident students whose family incomes fall within the middle-income range will receive aid to cover the in-state tuition portion. Non-resident students will still have to pay the tuition supplement.

The plan serves as a campus extension of the university’s Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which guarantees to cover the cost of tuition to any in-state student whose family income is under $80,000, according to Birgeneau.

In order for students to qualify for the new plan, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 1 to receive priority consideration.

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  • Stan De San Diego

    Have I ever mentioned that I enjoy the consumption of cheese?

    • Stan De San Diego

      FAIL. Anyone can click on your icon and see you’re the resident imposter troll.

      Life must suck when the only way you can get attention is to act like a total asshole.

      • Stan De San Diego

        LAWLS

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

          A sample of your posts, gleaned by simply clicking on your icon:

          LAWLS

          Prove it

          DON’T CALL ME A TROLL I’M NOT A TROLLUR A TROLL!!!11!1!!!

          doesn’t matter, its too late now, the internets have won

          ORLY

          LOL I THINK OWLS ARE HOT!!!1!

          Yeah I know right, this one guy keeps calling me an imposter

          LAWLS

          Therefore, we should watch…. sorry I have nothing better to do

          What are you, 14 years old?

          • Stan De San Diego

            Wrong, try again.

      • Stan De San Diego

        Stop impersonating me.

    • anonymous

      Stan, this is why we can’t have nice things.  Maybe try to contribute something?

  • Guest

    A great development.   Birgeneau has some deficiencies – such as his extreme left wing views and increasing class size – but he has done a lot of things right.  This is one of them. 

    • EllenD

      It wasn’t the chancellor.  This is a UC-wise issue/program/response.

      • Guest

        Incorrect.  Berkeley is the first and only to offer this.  Others  may follow, but Birgeneau has taken a leading role here.  Let’s offer credit where it’s due.

        • EllenD

          [with great sarcasm and facetiousness...]

          And we’ll also credit Hitler for unifying the Germans and bringing them out of a depression.

          [now in all seriousness...]

          Am I comparing Birgeneau to Hitler?  Certainly not.  (Birgeneau is Canadian.  Oops.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist).  Point is everyone has something good about them.  That doesn’t make them capable or competent or respected or trusted or responsible.

          In Birgeneau’s case, using your offer of credit for this singular, seemingly positive, but quite marginal step (that was not his idea and he was forced into it) to help a majority of the students he’s supposed to be leading but has thrown under the bus throughout his tenure as chancellor, the accounting of his accomplishments for UC, Berkeley, and the campus community is weighted, unrecoverably, as failure.

          Back to this topic and the point of my first post.  This chancellor has shown repeatedly that he is a liar and that he only supports students and other members of the campus community with whom he agrees or through whom he can advance his personal social and political agendas.

          • Guest

            Your argument makes little sense.  We are talking about MCAP, not Birgeneau’s history as Chancellor.  You have said nothing about this program, which can’t possibly be interpreted as anything but a good thing.  He’s putting more money into financial aid, helping families of students.  You’re against that? 

            You’re suggesting that because you haven’t agreed with how he has handled other matters, he can’t possibly be right here.  That’s just not intelligent.

            For the record, I don’t agree with many of his other stances either, but that doesn’t mean I lose all objectivity or the ability to evaluate him on a case by case basis.

          • EllenD

            Let me use fewer words: one perhaps positive does not outweigh myriad negatives.  Overall the chancellor is a failure.

            Some of the objective posts above show why this step too is clouded in doubt.  Look at my pocketbook and you’ll see the program has little substance.  Taking everything into account on this issue shows that this step is just political spin and posturing.

            Case by case basis?  That’s the same thing as missing the forest for the trees.  Looking at the forest shows the chancellor is a failure.

        • Stan De San Diego

          What are you, a kook on Birgenau’s payroll?  Quit frothing and try to respond intelligently to EllenD’s comment.  You embarrass Berkeley with your silly babbling. 

          • Guest

            Uh, you’re complaining about me while impostoring the real Stan?

            Classy.

            I did respond, by the way. This is not some UC-wide initiative.  This is the Berkeley campus taking the lead.  Take time to actually read the press - it’s quite helpful.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unprecedented Elliot Goldstein

    A positive step
    towards providing access to the ‘middle class’ that is currently being
    squeezed out of UC. This is not a fix-all, surely, but I think it’s
    important that we recognize when our campus administration takes the
    lead on important issues like this.
     

  • Evelyn Arnold

    It’s about damn time.

    The chancellor has been spouting off about “access” while at the same time taxing the middle class heavily in order that low income students can get a FREE Cal education (yes, basically free).  As a result, the middle class students are strapped with hundreds of thousands of dollars of high interest loans at graduation (that they can never recover from).  It’s not the low income students who can’t afford Cal, it’s the middle class.

    Even a remedial high school Econ student could tell you that his “access” plan wasn’t sustainable financially.

  • Smell Test

    12 million/6 thousand = $2000 per student,
    while that’s non-trivial for the students involved, its a drop in the bucket compared to $320 million to rebuild a structure on an active fault line.

    What happened to the $6.6 Billion that vanished at UCOP in a 5 year span? Yudof and Birgeneau think this is leadership?

    • Guest

       The cost calculations are not as simple as 12 million/ 6 thousand = $2000 per student. There will be a dynamic effect of increasing applications from students of families in the $80,00-$140,000. Only about 6% of California families make over $120,000 per year. In the entire UC system, there were only 14,700 students from families in the $80,000 – $120,000 income range….
      http://i43.tinypic.com/x92d3.jpg
      …. and that was in the Fall of 2008. Since then, tuition has increased around 70%. The number of students in the $80,000 – $120,000 range has to be less than in Fall of 2008 represented in the linked graphic.  Most of the six thousand students at Berkeley from families  in the $80,000 – $140,000 range come from families making up near $140,000.
      From the table in the press release it appears that the aid offered by UC Berkeley will be at the following levels.
      $80,000……$12,000
      $100,000….$9,000
      $120,000….$6,000
      $140,000….$3,000
      http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/12/14/berkeley-middle-class-access-plan/

      If UC Berkeley is the only UC offering MCAP, it will increase applications from students of families in this income range who would have applied only  to other UC campuses and it will attract applications from students of families in this income range who would not have applied to any UC. There will likely be a dramatic increase in applications from students of  families  in  the $80,000-$120,000 range. Since enrollment is not going to be increased, the ultimate cost will depend on which students are displaced by  more qualified middle income applicants  who have in recent years been subjected to socio-economic discrimination. The part that is not reported  is the expected parent contribution of student’s who qualify for Blue and Gold.

      “UC provided grant and scholarship assistance averaging $14,514 per
      student to more than half of undergraduates”
      http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/paying-for-uc/financial-aid/grants/blue-gold/index.html

      Since Blue and Gold students have their tuition, $12,192,   covered by Cal Grant….

      http://www.csac.ca.gov/doc.asp?id=905

      ….the $14,514 per student UC Grant goes to pay for room and board and other expenses, up to the $32,634 cost of a UC Berkeley education.
      http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2011/12/14/berkeley-middle-class-access-plan/

       If all students have the same self help aid amount of  $8,000 as alleged, then that means the average parent contribution of Blue and Gold must be $32,634 – $14,514 – $8,000 -$12,192 = $ -2,072, a grant to the parents of $2,072,  which implies  that Blue and Gold students cannot be assessed  $8,000 of self help aid.   MCAP applicants are not eligible for Cal Grants so it will have to be utilized  to pay for tuition.  To the extent that less academically qualified Blue and Gold eligible applicants are displaced, each MCAP  applicant will be a net gain to UC  as the aid required to be provided per student will be less than $14,514. To the extent that applicants not eligible for Blue and Gold or MCAP are displaced, it will be a net loss to UC  per student.  We can only guess that after making  preliminary estimates based on self reported income data from the  applicants for the 2012-2013 academic year, the number of applicants from state resident families paying full cost must have decreased to a point where Blue and Gold would have become such a large proportion of likely admits that the program would  become untenable in its present form.

      • Guest

        This suggests that the program would cost much more than the 10-12 million$ mentioned in the article… 6,000 students times a grant between $3,000 to $12,000 for each.

        • Guest

           Not if they start admitting more applicants from high and middle
          income families and  due to MCAP there is a higher yield for  middle
          income applicants admitted.  Blue and Gold students on average go to
          lower API schools and are held to much lower standards in admissions in
          terms of  Sat/Act test scores than  students from high and middle
          income families who on average attend higher API schools.  A high Gpa
          at a school where most  applicants are eligible for Blue and Gold
          School clearly does not represent the same level of academic
          performance  as a high Gpa at a  school where most applicants are not
          eligible for Blue and Gold. Not  just a little difference, not even in
          the same ballpark. All indications are that a   high Gpa at a low API
          school would be significantly lower at a high API school. The Average
          Sat  scores indicate  lower grades in the A-G subjects-Algebra 1,
          Geometry, Algebra 2, and English-four years required, all of which
          subjects are tested on the Sat exam. That is seven of fifteen required
          A-G courses.  If the grade in each of the above subjects went from an A
          to a B that would mean a 4.0 Gpa would become a 3.5 Gpa. Similarly if
          the grades in those subjects for a student at a high API school went
          from a B to an A, if he had been a student at a low API school, his Gpa
          would rise from a 3.5 to a 4.0.

          http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/requirements/index.html

          Such adjustments of Gpa’s between schools of varying levels of
          competitiveness and grade inflation are  what   SAT scores are supposed
          to accomplish, to then allow students competing for admission to be
          compared on other than an apples and oranges basis.

          Just as an example….

          Bay Area……

          Richmond High School, Low Income – Blue and Gold, API Rank 1, avg
          Sat(Cr + Math) 1051, Avg Gpa 3.99, 26 applicants, 11 admits, 11
          enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52636&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Amador Valley, Middle Income – MCAP, API Rank 10, Avg Sat (Cr + Math)
          1453, Avg Gpa 4.07, 108 applicants, 31 admits, 16 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52495&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Monte Vista High School, High Income, API Rank, 10, Avg Sat(Cr + Math),
          1418, Avg Gpa 4.04, 176 applicants, 52 admits, 25 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50727&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Or in the Sacramento Area…

          Grant High School, Low Income-Blue and Gold, API Rank 2, Avg Sat(Cr +
          Math) 1015, Avg Gpa 3.90, 24 applicants, 4 admits, 2 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50740&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Del Campo, Middle Income-MCAP, API Rank 8, Avg Sat(Cr + Math)
          1390(UCLA), Avg Gpa 4.29(UCLA), 17 applicants, 1 admit, zero enrollees

          [UCLA figures used for GPA and Sat since no enrollees at Berkeley]

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50915&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Rio Americano, High Income, API Rank 9, Avg Sat(Cr + Math) 1447, Gpa 4.09, 72 applicants, 23 admits, 7 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52730&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Since each Blue and Gold enrollee  receives on average a $14,514 UC
          Grant, then,  if each MCAP enrollee receives on average a ($12,000 -
          $3,000)/2 = $4,500 UC Grant,  there will be a $10,000 gain for each
          Blue and Gold enrollee displaced by an MCAP enrollee and a $14,514 gain
          for each Blue and Gold enrollee displaced by a High Income enrollee.

          The overall MCAP cost estimate has to take account of Blue and Gold
          enrollees that will be displaced by MCAP and High Income enrollees.
          Given the massive preference in admissions that is being afforded Blue
          and Gold applicants, it will be relatively easy to adjust what
          constitutes a 1 or 2 as opposed to a 3 or 4 under comprehensive review 
          to have fewer Blue and Gold enrollees. [Under Comprehensive Review, two
          readers   spend about twelve minutes with an applicant's file. They
          read the essay to learn of the applicant's world....

          http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/personal-statement/index.html

          ....and then subjectively evaluate his objective academic profile
          -transcript and Sat/Act test scores- and self reported extracurricular
          profile, with regard to the context of achievement gleaned from the
          personal essay prompt asking about his  world, assigning a 1,2,3 or
          4.   A 5 does not meet UC system-wide standards.  A 1 or 2 typically
          means admission except for certain applicants such as those planning to
          major in EECS.  3's are then further scored. The readers are not taking
          account of the competitive level of the high school with regard to
          appropriately adjusting the Gpa's  of students at schools of varying
          API levels and are giving enormous upward adjustments in Sat scores to
          Blue and Gold eligible applicants.]

          If  admissions were Merit based, there would be significantly less Blue
          and Gold admits and significantly more MCAP and High Income admits.

        • Guest

          This is the 3rd time I am posting this reply. Apparently, someone at the Daily Cal does not like the analysis in the comment and has deleted it twice. 

            Not if they start admitting more applicants from high and middle
          income families and  due to MCAP there is a higher yield for middle income applicants admitted.  Blue and Gold students on average go  to
          lower API schools and are held to much lower standards in  admissions in
          terms of  Sat/Act test scores than  students from high and middle
          income families who on average attend higher API schools.  A high Gpa
          at a school where most  applicants are eligible
           for Blue and Gold
          School clearly does not represent the same level of academic
          performance  as a high Gpa at a  school where most  applicants are not
          eligible for Blue and Gold. Not  just a little difference, not even in
          the same ballpark. All indications are that a high Gpa at a low API
          school would be significantly lower at a high API school. The Average
          Sat  scores indicate  lower grades in the A-G subjects-Algebra 1,
          Geometry, Algebra 2, and English-four years required, all of which
          subjects are tested on the Sat exam. That is seven of fifteen required
          A-G courses.  If the grade in each of the above subjects went from an A
          to a B that would mean a 4.0 Gpa would become a 3.5 Gpa. Similarly if
          the grades in those subjects for a student at a high API school went
          from a B to an A, if he had been a student at a low API school, his Gpa
          would rise from a 3.5 to a 4.0.

          http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/freshman/requirements/index.html

          Such adjustments of Gpa’s between schools of varying levels of
          competitiveness and grade inflation are  what   SAT scores are supposed
          to accomplish, to then allow students competing for admission to be
          compared on other than an apples and oranges basis.

          Just as an example….

          Bay Area……

          Richmond High School, Low Income – Blue and Gold, API Rank 1, Avg
          Sat(Cr + Math) 1051, Avg Gpa 3.99, 26 applicants, 11 admits, 11
          enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52636&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Amador Valley, Middle Income – MCAP, API Rank 10, Avg Sat (Cr +  Math)
          1453, Avg Gpa 4.07, 108 applicants, 31 admits, 16 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52495&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Monte Vista High School, High Income, API Rank, 10, Avg Sat(Cr + Math),
          1418, Avg Gpa 4.04, 176 applicants, 52 admits, 25 enrollees
          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50727&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Or in the Sacramento Area…
           Grant High School, Low Income-Blue and Gold, API Rank 2, Avg Sat(Cr +
          Math) 1015, Avg Gpa 3.90, 24 applicants, 4 admits, 2 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50740&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Del Campo, Middle Income-MCAP, API Rank 8, Avg Sat(Cr + Math) 1390(UCLA), Avg Gpa 4.29(UCLA), 17 applicants, 1 admit, zero enrollees

          [UCLA figures used for GPA and Sat since no enrollees at Berkeley]

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=50915&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Rio Americano, High Income, API Rank 9, Avg Sat(Cr + Math) 1447, Gpa 4.09, 72 applicants, 23 admits, 7 enrollees

          http://statfinder.ucop.edu/reports/schoolreports/school_academic_characteristics.aspx?atpCode=52730&Year=2008-09&Type=highschool

          Since each Blue and Gold enrollee  receives on average a $14,514  UC
          Grant, then,  if each MCAP enrollee receives on average a  $12,000 -
          $3,000)/2 = $4,500 UC Grant,  there will be a $10,000 gain for each
          Blue and Gold enrollee displaced by an MCAP  enrollee and a $14,514 gain
          for each Blue and Gold enrollee displaced by a High Income enrollee.

          The overall MCAP cost estimate has to take account of Blue and Gold
          enrollees that will be displaced by MCAP and High Income rnrollees.
          Given the massive preference in admissions that is being afforded Blue
          and Gold applicants, it will be relatively easy to adjust what
          constitutes a 1 or 2 as opposed to a 3 or 4 under comprehensive review 
          to have fewer Blue and Gold enrollees. [Under Comprehensive Review, two
          readers   spend about twelve minutes with an applicant's file. They
          read the essay to learn of the applicant's world....

          http://www.universityofcalifornia.edu/admissions/how-to-apply/personal-statement/index.html

          ....and then subjectively evaluate his objective academic profile- 
          transcript and Sat/Act test scores- and self reported extracurricular
          profile, with regard to the context of achievement gleaned from the
          personal essay prompt asking about his  world, assigning a 1,2,3 or
          4.   A 5 does not meet UC system-wide standards.  A 1 or 2 typically
          means admission except for certain applicants such as those planning to
          major in EECS.  3's are then further scored. The readers are not taking
          account of the competitive level of the high school with regard to
          appropriately adjusting the Gpa's  of students at schools of varying
          API levels and are giving enormous upward adjustments in Sat scores to
          Blue and Gold eligible applicants.]
          If admissions were merit based, there would be significantly less Blue and Gold admits and significantly more MCAP and high income admits.