Monthly Archives: December 2019

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Q: Many of the students I work with lose their financial aid because of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) requirements. Are there any forms of financial aid that are not subject to SAP?

A: While all forms of state and federal financial aid have some form of academic progress standards, some have more flexibility than others. A new law (SB 150) that will take effect on January 1, 2020 will allow students to continue to receive a Chafee ETV grant for two years before they lose eligibility because of SAP. If a student does lose eligibility there are specific criteria that qualify the student for reinstatement that are broader than those used for other forms of aid. To read more about this new law, click HERE.

In addition, the Promise Grant, which covers tuition costs at community colleges, is subject to different standards than sources such as the federal Pell grant and state CalGrant. While this varies by campus, typically the requirements are less stringent, and students can often maintain the fee waiver even when they no longer qualify for other forms of aid.

Finally, if a student does lose financial aid, they should be encouraged to appeal to have aid reinstated. This process can be cumbersome, and they may need support to navigate their college’s SAP appeal process.

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2019 California Earned Income Tax

Q:  I understand that the California Earned Income Tax Credit was expanded last year and that it is now available to transition-age youth, age 18 to 21, regardless of their parenting status.  Is there a minimum amount that a youth has to earn to qualify for the CalEITC? What materials are available to share with youth in my county?

A: Yes, the California EITC (CalEITC) was expanded from $400 million to $1 billion annually in the 2019-20 budget. This expansion made the following changes:

  • Expanded eligibility to families that earn up to $30,000 annually;
  • Increased the maximum credit to $2,982 for CalEITC, plus a maximum credit of $6,557 for federal EITC
  • Added a Young Child Tax Credit, which is an additional credit of up to $1,000 for tax filers who meet CalEITC requirements and have a child under six years old by the end of the year.

The California Franchise Tax Board has updated its materials for the 2019 tax year. To download the updated materials, follow this LINK.

John Burton Advocates for Youth will host a website on strategies to help transition-age youth access the CalEITC on January 30, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. To register, follow this LINK.

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