First year of tuition-free community college begins for many San Diego students

Posted at 6:17 AM, Aug 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-20 16:27:26-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The first day of free tuition begins Monday for about 1,700 San Diego community college students.

Many students at San Diego City College, Mesa College and Miramar College are starting classes without having to pay a dime, thanks to the new San Diego Promise program.

To qualify for the program, students must be first-time, full-time San Diego Community College District students. Additional requirements:

-- Attend an on-campus Promise orientation
-- Enroll in at least 12 units each semester (fall and spring)
-- Enroll in a College Success Course (PG 120 or PG 130) in the Fall semester
-- Meet with a counselor each semester
-- Complete a comprehensive education plan by the end of the first year
-- Maintain a 2.0 or higher grade point average

Students can qualify for the program regardless of economic status.

RELATED: What you need to know about San Diego Promise free tuition

Officials said San Diego Promise will help many students that otherwise might have been able to attend college achieve their education goals.

“It’s surprising how many of our students have food and housing insecurities, so for them to be able to have this support to go to college is really a factor to determine whether they can attend or not,” said Lynn Ceresino Neault, Vice Chancellor of Student Services with the San Diego Community College District.

The state of California is funding the program for the first year, with private donations accounting for the funding in the second year.