San Jose Offers Free Tuition to Low-Income Students

on March 9, 2017

San Jose announced March 8, 2017 it would offer free community college tuition to low-income students. The program will pay two years of tuition for about 800 community college students beginning in 2018.


“College remains a daunting financial challenge for thousands of San Jose families, leaving far too many of our kids unprepared to compete in an increasingly challenging global economy and relegated to a future of financial struggle,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said.


“The San Jose Promise reflects our city’s collective commitment to ensuring that every single San Jose high school student has the opportunity to continue their education and pursue a future with unlimited opportunity.”


The program will target low-income, first-generation and historically underrepresented students, according to the mayor’s office. Students at San Jose City College, Evergreen Valley College and West Valley College are eligible for the program and students can apply for it through their respective college’s financial aid office.


The program covers tuition, fees, books, materials and transportation for students. It will be funded by the California College Promise Innovation Grant Program, which awarded $750,000 to each campus. San Jose is expected to contribute taxpayer funding for the initiative. San Jose is the 10th largest U.S. city.


“For too long, the opportunities afforded by a college degree or certificate have seemed out of reach for many in our community,” said Debbie Budd, chancellor of San Jose – Evergreen Community College District.


“We are proud to work with the Mayor’s Office in leading the way to break down barriers for student success and college access. By ensuring that more local students are prepared for, enroll in, and graduate from college, we will diversify the Silicon Valley workforce and ensure our local economy has the skilled workers needed for 21st century jobs.”


California had free community college tuition through 1983-1984. A poll released in January by the Campaign for Free College Tuition found that almost 73 percent of American voters support state-sponsored, free college tuition.


San Francisco, Rhode Island and New York announced free-tuition plans this year.

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