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Community college district pledges to make tuition free

District sets aside $6.75 million

The entrance of Cañada College in Woodside on Feb. 10, 2021. The San Mateo County Community College District, which Cañada College is part of, has started an initiative to make tuition free for its students. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

The San Mateo County Community College District governing board approved $6.75 million in free tuition for its students as part of its fiscal year 2022 budget during a June 23 meeting.

Free college education is currently available for students who enroll in the district's Promise Scholars Program, which offers scholarships and support services to first-time, full-time students. In April, the county's Board of Supervisors pledged $2 million to expand the program.

The district is aiming to double the size of that program, which currently has about 2,000 full-time students enrolled.

The added funding will also expand dual enrollment at College of San Mateo and Cañada College ($2.5 million), and go toward textbook costs ($1.25 million), according to the June 23 board meeting packet.

"Still more work to do, but it is a huge step toward facilitating equity, access and upward mobility for our underresourced students," said trustee John Pimentel, who lives in Menlo Park.

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The board also approved restarting the Cañada College shuttle that runs through East Palo Alto to help students get to Cañada in Woodside for $421,200.

Some 581 students in the Promise Scholars Program graduated in 2021, according to the packet.

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Community college district pledges to make tuition free

District sets aside $6.75 million

by / Almanac

Uploaded: Sat, Jul 3, 2021, 8:51 am

The San Mateo County Community College District governing board approved $6.75 million in free tuition for its students as part of its fiscal year 2022 budget during a June 23 meeting.

Free college education is currently available for students who enroll in the district's Promise Scholars Program, which offers scholarships and support services to first-time, full-time students. In April, the county's Board of Supervisors pledged $2 million to expand the program.

The district is aiming to double the size of that program, which currently has about 2,000 full-time students enrolled.

The added funding will also expand dual enrollment at College of San Mateo and Cañada College ($2.5 million), and go toward textbook costs ($1.25 million), according to the June 23 board meeting packet.

"Still more work to do, but it is a huge step toward facilitating equity, access and upward mobility for our underresourced students," said trustee John Pimentel, who lives in Menlo Park.

The board also approved restarting the Cañada College shuttle that runs through East Palo Alto to help students get to Cañada in Woodside for $421,200.

Some 581 students in the Promise Scholars Program graduated in 2021, according to the packet.

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