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Student aid program at Yuba College terminated after investigation‎

A state agency says it will end a $372,756 program at Yuba College that aids educationally disadvantaged high school students in six counties because members of a board voted on contracts in which they had a financial interest.

The California Student Aid Commission said it learned the North Valley Consortium at Yuba College, which provides the California Student Opportunity and Access Program known as Cal-SOAP , is structured differently from other such groups. There are 17 Cal-SOAP consortia in the state.

North Valley consortium board members are also site coordinators of the program and decided the amount of stipends they'd receive, the state agency said.

A letter last month from Diana Fuentes-Michel, executive director of the state aid commission, to the North Valley consortium cites a 2008 vote deciding on $5,500 stipends for coordinators.

"By voting on their own site coordinator contracts, these individuals have a direct interest in contracts they are approving in their role as members of the governing board," Fuentes-Michel wrote.
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