LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $47.1 billion package of bills at Cal State Northridge Wednesday intended to smooth the way for more California students to go to college.

The bills that were made law Wednesday would make it easier and more affordable for California’s high school students to attend University of California and Cal State University colleges. They also help fund affordable housing for students, particularly those attending community college, and add more funding to financial aid programs.

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(credit: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Office)

“Californians have thrived at our world class universities for decades, but not everyone has had similar access – today that’s changing,” Newsom said in a statement. “Everyone deserves a shot at the ‘California Dream’ – we’re eliminating equity gaps and increasing opportunities at our universities to make those dreams a reality for more California students.”

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Nearly three dozen bills were signed into law at the Cal State Northridge event, all with the intention of improving access to higher education for California students. A number had to do with standardizing general education requirements and community college courses.

“When students discussed their experience with the transfer process from community college to four-year university their message was loud and clear: transfer is too complex, confusing, and difficult to navigate,” Assemblyman Marc Berman, chair of the state Assembly’s Committee on the Master Plan for Higher Education in California, said in a statement. “Instead of being a clear path, it’s a maze, and it’s costing students time and money that they can’t afford.”

The package also invests in affordable housing for students, and makde it a requirement for all students to submit a Free Application for Federal Aid, also known as FAFSA, or a California Dream Act application in order to win as much aid as possible to put toward their college education.

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The education package also includes making college savings accounts widely available to low-income children, provides grants for advanced training and education for workers hit hard by the pandemic, and supports education programs aimed at helping students get into in-demand jobs.