Harry Le Grande confirmed to California financial aid commission

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Harry Le Grande, UC Berkeley vice chancellor for student affairs, has been appointed to the California Student Aid Commission following confirmation by the state Senate on May 13.

Le Grande will continue to hold his position at UC Berkeley while representing the UC system on the CSAC, a state agency responsible for administering financial aid programs. The commission advocates for state-level programs, such as Cal Grants and federal programs — like Pell Grants — for students attending public and private universities, colleges and vocational schools in California.

Le Grande will work with the CSAC to try and prevent further funding cuts that directly affect the UC system. One responsibility of CSAC members is to inform elected officials in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., of the impact of financial aid cuts on university systems. Le Grande praised many of California’s successful student aid programs, noting that these programs help students succeed and benefit the state economy as well.

“Higher education is the leading economic enhancer for the state, so it’s an investment in our future, success and growth,” Le Grande said. “If you look at why California students have a lower debt load than the national average, it is directly related to our Cal Grants program.”

Le Grande also said that his experience on the UC Berkeley campus, including his management of the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office, allows him to bring a UC-system perspective on financial aid to the CSAC. He says this gives him direct knowledge of the issues the university faces.

Members of Le Grande’s staff also say he will be a strong voice for the University of California within CSAC.

“You couldn’t have a better advocate for the UC on that committee than Harry Le Grande,” said Kenneth Montgomery, executive assistant to the vice chancellor.

Montgomery said that what makes Le Grande a good ambassador for the UC system is his passion for student affairs and his commitment to making higher education accessible to California residents.

“His work ethic is tremendous,” Montgomery said. “Sometimes I think he overworks, but he’s committed to the university and the work he does.”

The vice chancellor’s chief of staff, Felicia Lee, says that the experience Le Grande has gained at UC Berkeley has paved the way for his nomination as the UC representative.

“Le Grande has worked for the University of California for over 30 years,” Lee said. “He understands the public character and mission of the UC. He considers this appointment an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of California to ensure educational affordability and accessibility.”

Contact Jose Hernandez at [email protected]