UC Berkeley announces new financial aid packages

In light of possible education budget cuts and increasing tuition fees in California, officials at the University of California, Berkeley have announced a series of new financial aid packages aimed at middle-income families, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The new plans aim to address shortfalls in the affordability of an education at the university for families earning between $80,000 and $140,000 per year. Officials created the new aid packages to compensate for increases in tuition at the university caused by reductions in California's education funding.

Students from lower-income families can already receive assistance through statewide merit-based grant programs. The new financial aid package, called the Middle Class Access Plan, will cap parental contributions at 15 percent of a household's income. Students receiving financial aid through the new package will be expected to make some contribution, regardless of their financial situation.

"This program is necessary and consistent with everything we stand for as an institution," said Robert Birgeneau, chancellor of the university, as quoted by the news source.

California is facing serious budget cuts to many public services, including higher education. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Governor Jerry Brown announced reductions in state spending of almost $1 billion earlier this week.

If you're considering filling out a college application, make sure you research all of your financial aid options, including scholarships.

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