In enacting this article, the Legislature finds and declares:
(a) The awarding of financial assistance to needy students by state-funded student aid programs appropriately considers family income in determining an applicant's financial need.
(b) Claiming of financial independence by students whose parents are in fact able to provide financial assistance unfairly redirects limited student aid dollars from students with legitimate financial need.
(c) Definitions and procedures by which a student may declare financial independence from the student's parents differ among state-funded student aid programs and among institutions. A statutory definition of when a student's eligibility for need-based, state-funded grants is to be determined without regard to his or her parents' financial circumstances will reduce confusion and ensure that such grants are allocated to students on the basis of a more equitable evaluation of their financial need.
(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 36.)