Universities can’t yank financial aid from students who get private scholarships, new law says

As Dixie Samaniego prepared for her first semester at California State University Fullerton, she had one focus: finding a way to pay.

“I knew that my family wasn’t going to be able to pay, or help in any way financially,” said Samaniego, now a senior, “so I started applying to scholarships everywhere.”

As a low-income student, she qualified for a federal Pell Grant and a state Cal Grant, but still had a substantial balance to cover. After hours of applying, writing essays, and interviewing, she received a $5,000 award for her first year from a private foundation that aimed to help students who faced barriers to college.

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