Notre Dame de Namur President Says Cuts to Cal Grants Hurt Low-Income Students

Addresses Legislators in Sacramento on Private Nonprofit Higher Education

Belmont, Calif., March 11, 2014 — Proposed cuts to the Cal Grant program will further undermine the efforts of private nonprofit universities to provide access to higher education for low-income students, Notre Dame de Namur University President Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D., told legislators today in Sacramento.

Dr. Greig made the remarks today to an informational hearing for members of both the California House and Assembly on “The Role of Private, Nonprofit Higher Education Institutions in California Higher Education.” The meeting was held in connection with the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities’ (AICCU) annual Day in the Capitol. Under Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget the maximum award for Cal Grant will be reduced by 11 percent, from $9,084 to $8,056, for low-income students who attend a private, nonprofit college or university in California. This is in addition to a six percent cut in the program last year.

“Private universities in California are being squeezed by rapidly spiraling costs and increased demands by students for additional services at the same time as federal and state support are being cut. Ultimately it is low-income students who will suffer as a result because private universities will have to enroll more students who are able to afford the tuition they must charge to operate.”

She added that universities are doing their best to hold down tuition increases in the face of rising costs. Using NDNU’s experience as an example she noted that in the past two years tuition has increased only two percent a year while benefit costs for employees have jumped 35 percent. More than 100 Cal Grant recipients from AICCU member institutions visited the capitol today to talk to legislators for Cal Grant funding.

Notre Dame de Namur University is a Catholic, not-for-profit, coeducational institution serving 2,000 traditional aged and adult students from diverse backgrounds. Established in 1851, by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, NDNU maintains a strong commitment to academic excellence, social justice and community engagement. The university is fully accredited and offers 37 undergraduate, graduate and credential programs. The historic, 50-acre campus is located on the San Francisco Peninsula in Silicon Valley. For more information, visit