Governor Jerry Brown this week signed Assembly Bill 19 which waives the first year of fees for any student who enrolls full time at one of the state's 114 community colleges.
Full time is considered at least 12 units per semester but could include more. Books and other fees would not be covered.
A full classload adds up to about $1,100. It's estimated the new law will cost the state about $31 million a year.
But those in favor say it's an investment that'll encourage more people to go to college and finish in a shorter amount of time.
Officials say there's about 3,000 first year, full time students in the San Diego Community College district right now.
The new law could go into effect as soon as the 2018-2019 school year, but the funding first needs to be approved as part of next year's budget.