California to pay students $10,000 for doing volunteer work

California is launching a massive statewide program that will award thousands of students $10,000 towards their college fees if they perform community service work.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program at a press conference this week, saying it will provide up to 6,500 university students over two academic years with volunteer opportunities in areas including climate action, K-12 education and COVID-19 recovery. If they complete a year of service, they will receive $10,000, which will reduce the amount of loans needed to fund their education.

Newsom said 45 California colleges and universities have joined the initiative, including the University of California school system and California State University.

Nearly 4 million Californians owe $147 billion in student debt, according to Newsom’s office, with black and Latino residents facing the highest rates of default and delinquency.


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“The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians from diverse backgrounds with rewarding service opportunities across the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the country,” Newsom said in a statement.

the National Center for Education Statistics found that between the 2008-09 and 2018-19 school year, prices for tuition, tuition, accommodation and meals in public institutions increased by 28%, while institutions private nonprofits increased by 19%.

California is trying to help with these cost increases through #CaliforniansForAll College Corps, and state universities are pledging to join the effort.

“Providing more pathways to a debt-free degree while allowing students to pursue service-oriented career paths is a reflection of our shared commitment to access, affordability and public service,” said said Michael V. Drake, president of the University of California.

Notably, the program will also allow undocumented “dreamers” to qualify for financial support, as long as they are eligible for in-state tuition and can volunteer in the critical areas described.

At the federal level, student loans remained a contentious issue as some lawmakers urged President Biden to act on student loan forgiveness. Representative Ayana Pressley (D) and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D) along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) released a statement last month, calling on the president to cancel $50,000 in federal student debt through executive action.

Before that, Biden again extended the forbearance period on all federal student loans through May 2022 as the coronavirus pandemic continues to strain Americans across the country.


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