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Dear UCI Students :

We are committed to providing our students with the finest education available anywhere in the world, and particularly in these uncertain economic times we are committed to keeping that education as affordable as possible. I am writing to call your attention to the broad range of financial aid programs available for 2010-11.

First and foremost is the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan. Under the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, eligible students with family incomes below $70,000 will pay no systemwide fees in 2010-11; all of these fees will be covered by scholarships and grants. For more information, please visit: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/blueandgold.

If family incomes exceed $70,000, other grants and scholarships are available. In fact, UC undergraduate students will receive over $1 billion in grants and scholarships this year – not just to cover fees under the Blue and Gold Plan, but to help more than half of all UC families finance their students’ education.

To ensure you maximize financial aid opportunities, you will need to:

–File a FAFSA before March 2, 2010 (www.fafsa.gov). I urge every UC Irvine student, regardless of income, to complete this free online application. It is the gateway to all financial aid, including most UC scholarships and low-interest loans.

–Take full advantage of the American Opportunity Tax Credit for couples with adjusted gross incomes of up to $180,000 ($90,000 for single filers). This credit directly reduces your tax bill, providing up to $2,500 to help cover your college expenses. More information is available at the IRS Web site: www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=211309,00.html.

A degree from UC is one of the best investments you’ll ever make, and UC is here to help. I encourage you to take full advantage of the resources mentioned above.

Chancellor Michael Drake

UCSD’s Black Student Union sent this statement in response to the “Compton Cookout” staged by SD’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Excerpts printed below; the full version can be found on the New University’s Web site.

As you may or may not be aware of the recent events that occurred involving some UC San Diego undergraduate students in an attempt to make a mockery of Black History month and host a themed party entitled “The Compton Cookout”.

This is completely unacceptable. The administration’s failure to prioritize creating a healthier campus climate earlier has caused this tragic event to reach the masses. It needs to be addressed immediately and all members involved in the organizing of the racist event should face dire consequences. The University needs to make an example out of these students.

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