No high school diploma? California college aid may get easier

Many adults in California are missing out on financial aid for college — and for years, the state declined to help.

The most popular form of federal financial aid, the Pell grant, provides low-income students with around $7,000 a year—money that can go towards all kinds of expenses, such as tuition, rent or transportation. Typically, college students need a high school diploma or equivalent to qualify, but a workaround, known as the Ability to Benefit provision, allows adults without a high school diploma to get federal financial aid in college.

California’s community colleges rarely use it. The regulations surrounding the provision are “cumbersome” and few students know about it, said Kevin Harral, the director of financial aid at Las Positas College in Livermore.

Read more from CalMatters.

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