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State’s College Access Tax Credit Program Extended

California State Assembly Bill 2880 (AB 2880), authored by Assemblymember Mia Bonta (D-Oakland), has been signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom and will extend the sunset date of the College Access Tax Credit Fund program by five years. The program is administered by the California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA), chaired by California State Treasurer Fiona Ma.

Under the program, taxpayers may submit applications to CEFA to receive available tax credits by voluntarily contributing to the College Access Tax Credit Fund. The College Access Tax Credit Fund, in part, funds the Student Aid Commission’s Cal Grant B Access Award Program. Cal Grants are awarded to students pursuing an undergraduate degree, vocational, or career training at a qualifying California college who have family income and assets below set minimal levels. These awards provide low-income students with an allowance for living expenses, transportation, supplies, and books.

“As State Treasurer and chair of CEFA, it is a top priority of mine to ensure that low-income California college and university students have access to the financial aid they need in order to make postsecondary education affordable,” said Treasurer Ma. “One such program that helps offset the ever-increasing cost of college tuition is the College Access Tax Credit Program, which is why I proudly sponsored AB 2880.”

Under the Program, 50 percent of taxpayers’ voluntary contributions are approved as tax credits to offset state income tax, and a portion of the voluntary contributions go toward Cal Grant B Access Awards for low-income California public and private college students. This program has received over $49 million in contributions thus far and has increased Cal Grant B Access Awards by nearly $22 million.

“I am ecstatic that Governor Newsom has signed AB 2880, which will continue to provide much needed support to low-income Cal Grant students as they navigate costly living, transportation, and book expenses,” Assemblymember Bonta stated. “Furthermore, AB 2880 will allow CEFA to market the College Access Tax Credit, increasing the number of tax professionals that will be educated about the program, increasing utilization and contributions to the fund. It is essential that we continue to provide additional support to low-income California college and university students.”

Excess tax credits donated by taxpayers under this program may be carried over to reduce a taxpayer’s “net tax” in the following taxable year and the succeeding five years, if necessary, until the tax credit is exhausted.

For more information on CEFA’s College Access Tax Credit Program or to make voluntary contributions, visit CEFA’s website.