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Governor speeds up Cal Grant cuts for students

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Starting this fall, college students will be getting less financial aid from California.

Gov. Jerry Brown announced Thursday that he had vetoed $195 million in overall spending approved by the Legislature — a move that will save more than $22 million by speeding up reductions to the Cal Grants program for college students.

The Legislature had approved a 6 percent cut starting in the fall of 2013, but the governor cited the state's financial problems for moving up 5 percent of the cut to the 2012-13 academic year.

As a result, students who qualify for Cal Grant A, the top award, will see their allocation drop by about $500 to $9,223. Another $150 would be cut in the 2013-14 school year, with a dramatic decrease to $8,000 in fall 2014.

Students attending qualified private, for-profit schools will be cut to $4,000 starting next year.

Democratic lawmakers also required higher graduation rates for colleges and universities to qualify for state aid. The move was aimed at private, for-profit schools such as University of Phoenix and DeVry University, which have come under federal scrutiny for saddling students with heavy debt.

Other types of Cal Grant awards will see proportionally similar cuts.