SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The first year of community college will be free for thousands of California students under a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
The signing announced Friday creates the "California College Promise" program. It waives course fees for a student's first year of classes.
Students must apply for the fee waiver and take at least 12 credits per semester.
Each unit now costs $46.
The community college system estimates 19,000 students would be eligible for the fee waiver, which will cost the state about $31 million annually.
Roughly 1.6 million of the system's 2.3 million students already receive other financial aid.
The aid for first-time students is nothing new in San Diego.
Palomar Community College rolled out their " Palomar Promise " program, which guarantees the first year of tuition and fees are free for first-year students from more than 20 partner high schools, this year.
The "Palomar Promise" received $1.5 million in donations to aid with its first year.
The San Diego Community College district, including City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges, also offers its own program, " San Diego Promise ," to cover fees for eligible incoming high school seniors.