top of page

Higher Education
Legislative Advocacy (HELAC)


Mission Statement

Welcome to HELAC! We are a community of youth-led and youth oriented organizations furthering student advocacy and equitable access to higher education. Primarily, we focus on amplification and support for relevant higher education legislation through advocacy and student mobilization. Through the coalition, we encourage participation in direct legislative action through advocacy (letters of support, calling in at hearings, etc.) and foster collaboration on later initiatives regarding higher education across California. In the coalition, we participate in key meetings with legislative advisors, governmental staffers from the CA Department of Education, and the Governor’s administration.























Policy Slate

AB 1456  Introduced by Assembly Member Medina (Cal Grant Reform)
  • Consolidate the three Cal Grant Awards (A, B, & C) into new Cal Grant 2 and Cal Grant 4 Programs

    • Cal Grant 2: Guarantee an access award for all California Community College (CCC) students with incomes or other circumstances that would qualify for a maximum Pell Grant award and who do not have any dependents under age 18

    • Cal Grant 4: Maintain a tuition/fee award to students attending an eligible 4-year institution

  • Open up eligibility to Cal Grant aid to nearly 200,000 more California students than the current Cal Grant system, with significant gains for adult learners, student-parents, and students of color

  • Align state and federal financial aid policies to create a more coordinated approach to investments in college affordability that leverages federal fund sources to most effectively serve students

  • Removes age, time out of school, and GPA requirements 

SB 26 Introduced by Senator Skinner (Fair Play Act)
  • Bring deadline of implementation for SB 206 closer before NCAA

  • Give student protections and student rights for student athletes

AB 337 Introduced by Assembly Member Medina (CC Student Trustee)
  • Currently, two student members on community college boards

  • Only one student member has a full vote → give full voting rights to both members

AB 775 Introduced by Assembly Member Berman (Basic Needs at Community Colleges)
  • Would require all California community colleges to establish a Basic Needs Coordinator, compile a document clearly listing all on and off campus basic needs resources, and send data to the Chancellor of the community college system who will create a report every 2 years

AB 928 Introduced by Assembly Member Berman (ADT Transfer Pathway)
  • Standardizes the transfer process from community colleges to UCs and CSUs to help ease and promote transferring through creation of a committee


AB 245 Introduced by Assembly Member Chiu (Name & Gender Changes) 
  • Allow public colleges in California to update a student's records (including former) to include the student's updated legal name or gender when government-issued documentation is provided

AB 396 Introduced by Assembly Member Gabriel (Cal Fresh Eligibility)
  • Targets the CalFresh Employment and Training services student exemption—an exemption that many higher ed programs qualify under but have yet to be certified for—to close a gap on access to a crucial food and nutrition resource that will help thousands of students on federal dollars

  • Requires that campus-based programs at California Community Colleges (CCC) and California State Universities (CSU) and requests programs at the University of California (UC) that meet the eligibility requirements apply to become state-approved employment and training programs 

AB 595 Introduced by Assembly Member Medina (Communicating Eligibility Requirements)
  • If new (or updated) eligibility requirements are proposed, CSUs and UCs must discuss with other educational institutions to determine effects impacts of policy and align policies

  • Independent 3rd party organization to study eligibility rates on graduates of underrepresented groups and impact of change 

  • If requirement approved, implementation committee creates multi-year plan for that segment to work with the public elementary and secondary school system, the California Community Colleges, and the governing body of the other segment and report annually to Legislature, Governor, and governing body  

  • Tabled until fall due to author needing time with CSU eligibility requirements 

AB 295 Introduced by Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer (Free College Pilot Program)
  • Establish working group of CC, UC, CSU to determine feasibility of free college pilot program

  • Re-introduce next cycle due to lack of support and opposition from UCSA, CSSA, SSCCC

Contact Us!


helac tiers.png

Tier 1 Bills

Tier 2 Bills

Tier 3 Bills

Other Bills

SSCCCLogo (1).png
bottom of page