The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Rising student costs for housing, food, books, supplies, and transportation, plus increases in student fees and tuition, require a corresponding commitment by the state to provide the financial aid necessary to offset these increases and ensure educational access and choice for eligible students.
(b) Reductions in available federal student aid and stricter eligibility requirements for federal funding have increased the need for the state to reassess the adequacy of its student aid programs.
(c) Increased reliance on student loans has resulted not only in escalating long-term indebtedness of youth entering the labor force, but has also increased default rates and concomitant government efforts to ensure lender and borrower accountability.
(d) Institutional and employer contributions to work-study financial aid programs extend the availability and effectiveness of limited government financial aid funds.
(e) Work-study programs exemplify a "self-help" approach to financial aid, whereby students develop self-reliance and discipline as well as work skills by earning at least a portion of their educational expenses.
(Added by Stats. 1986, Ch. 1196, Sec. 1.)