California bill would expand funding to community colleges to provide free two-year tuition
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – California lawmakers are considering amending a law that would make it possible for students to attend community College for free for 2 years.
In San Diego, some colleges are already doing that.
Colleges within the San Diego Community College District, like Mesa College, have been providing free 2-year tuition for first-time students since 2016.
Students will tell you, taking away that financial burden, has help not only stay in school but also help them achieve great success.
“I am extremely grateful for having that ability to not have to worry about paying it for the first two years I’m coming to college. it took off the financial burden for my family because you know they don’t want me to have to go to work a full-time job and have to pay books that can range from $1,000 every semester,” said Samantha Ceron-Draeger, a student who entered Mesa College through the Promise Program.
Deron-Draeger is now thriving in her classes as she is able to focus on only her studies.
The San Diego Promise Program is funded by private donors as well as the fairly new California College Program, which by state law, funds community colleges so that first time students can go to college for free the first year.
Legislators in Sacramento are discussing expanding the funding for up to two years of free tuition and getting rid of the first-time student requirement.
“If they continue to fund the second-year, which were hopeful for, that means we’ll be able to provide even more support for students and more students,” said Donnaly Atajar, Promise Project Assistant.
Student Samantha Ceron-Draeger said she is glad she chose to attend Mesa. “Why go to a 4-year University when you can come here and get your first two years free” she said.
Registration is now open for students interested in the San Diego Promise Program.