Federal Relations


Download a printable fact sheet (.pdf) on preserving Pell.

The Pell Grant is the foundation of federal student aid, providing opportunity to millions of students who might otherwise be unable to attend college. The vast majority of Pell recipients come from families with incomes at or below $30,000. Over 186,000 CSU students receive Pell Grants, with an average grant of nearly $4,200.

Broad Access: With 23 campuses and almost 447,000 students, the California State University is the largest bachelor and graduate degree university in the world.  Roughly one-third of CSU students are in the first generation in their family to attend college.  The CSU provides 57% of all bachelor’s degrees granted to California’s Hispanic students and 46% granted to African American students - and is a leader in transitioning veterans to the civilian workforce.

Job-Ready Graduates: The CSU awards over 100,000 degrees per year.  CSU students’ starting and mid-career salaries are higher than national averages. It provides California with the bulk of bachelor’s degrees in high demand fields, such as agriculture (72%); business and professional services (50%); criminal justice (70%); engineering (47%); nursing (53%); life sciences (39%); and tourism and hospitality management (95%).

Low tuition, low debt: Average annual tuition at the CSU for a full time undergraduate from California is $6,695.  CSU students' loan debt upon graduation is significantly less than the national average.  49 percent of CSU students carry student loan debt at graduation (compared to 68 percent nationally), at an average of approximately $18,500 (compared to $29,400 nationally).

State Aid: The state of California and CSU institutions provide need-based aid totaling over $985 million to more than 220,000 CSU students.

Significant need remains: Nearly 3 out of 4 CSU students have jobs, and almost 18% work more than 30 hours per week.  Even with jobs and state aid, many CSU students require additional assistance.

Results: In 2012-13, almost half (nearly 40,000) of CSU bachelor’s degrees awarded were to Pell Grant recipients.

CSU Pell Grant Program priorities for FY 2015
  • Support cost of living increases in maximum Pell Grant
  • Ensure that any Pell Grant program savings stay in the program for use in future years
Additional CSU Student Aid Priorities for FY 2015
  • Invest in the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) program, which helps over 20,000 CSU students with the greatest need purchase items like books and supplies
  • Bolster Work-Study funding, which currently aids 6,400 CSU students