Contra Costa Community College District announces free tuition for first-time, full-time students

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There’s not just the Richmond Promise.

Now, local students have access to the California College Promise.

First-time, full-time students can receive free tuition for up to one year at Contra Costa College, Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College effective Monday, Aug. 27, the first day of the new school year, the Contra Costa Community College District announced today.

The District’s free one-year tuition program is part of the statewide initiative to fund tuition at community colleges, called the California College Promise, an expansion of the former Board of Governors fee waiver program for low-income students. The program was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last October under Assembly Bill 19.

To be eligible, students don’t have to demonstrate a financial need or meet any income requirements. However, they must be a first-time college student, must complete the college district’s Pledge Application as well as the FASFA or California Dream Act application, must construct an educational plan, and must enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 units while maintaining a minimum 2.0 GPA.

After accomplishing all of those steps, students’ enrollment fees will be refunded.

“The District will cover the $46 per unit enrollment/tuition fee using a combination of College Promise Program dollars, private donations and other funding sources,” the district said in a statement. “While tuition is covered for up to one year, participating students will still be responsible for any books, supplies and materials and other non-course fees that a class requires.”

The program can further augment college’s affordability for local students. Recipients of the Richmond Promise program can also apply for the California College Promise.

The Richmond Promise provides $1,500 annually (with a renewal for up to four years) to every high school graduate from Richmond and North Richmond, along with a network of guidance and support in financial aid, academics and college acclimation. Those grant funds can go not just toward tuition but also toward the full cost of attendance as determined by a college or university, including travel, housing, books, food, etc.

RELATED: Richmond Promise creating college success culture in city.

Established in 2014, the Richmond Promise was launched by a $35 million investment from a $90 million community benefits agreement between Chevron Richmond and the city of Richmond connected to the Chevron Richmond Refinery Modernization Project.

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