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financial_aid.JPGThe California Student Aid Commission reports a rise in the number of high schools submitting students' grade-point averages electronically, as state legislators weigh whether to require the electronic GPA reports.

The commission, which runs the Cal Grant scholarship program, said it has received 383,948 electronic GPA submissions for this year's awards, up from 290,468 in 2013. Verification of GPA is the second part of a two-step process for determining whether students qualify for the scholarships.

Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the student aid commission, credited pilot partnerships with school districts such as Los Angeles Unified for the boost in electronic GPA submissions. The commission is still sorting through another 30,000 paper applications.

"The numbers continue to show that students, especially those trying to enter college, have gotten the message that there is student aid available," Fuentes-Michel said. "But we need to do more to streamline the process."

That is the goal of the bill introduced last month by Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, which would require high schools to submit electronic GPAs for all graduating seniors to the student aid commission. About 50,000 Cal Grant applications last year were not considered because the GPA could not be verified.

PHOTO: Prospective student Eva Vega, left, is counseled by financial aid technician Sonia Diaz during a college workshop at the Mexican Consulate office in Sacramento on February 1, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Randall Benton


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