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First Time, Full Time, Free Tuition available at all Contra Costa community colleges

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Ramiro Martinez was interviewed for The Buzz on the Pleasant Hill Campus on September 13, 2018.

Ramiro Martinez was interviewed for The Buzz on the Pleasant Hill Campus on September 13, 2018.

Michael Gutierrez

Michael Gutierrez

Ramiro Martinez was interviewed for The Buzz on the Pleasant Hill Campus on September 13, 2018.

Max Miller, Staff Member

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Free tuition is now offered at Diablo Valley College because of the district’s creation of their First Time, Full Time, Free Tuition program.  This allows students enrolled in all of the Contra Costa Community College District institutions to be able to attend their classes for free.

The program does require students to follow the district’s qualification desires to be able to apply.  In order to be able to qualify a student must have no other previous college education at any other institution.

An exception to that rule is if the student was enrolled in any classes during the summer 2018 semester.  Erin Brooks, the district marketing and communications coordinator, reasoned, “We didn’t want those students who tried to get a head start to be penalized for that.”

Applicants must be full-time students in order to qualify.  A full-time student must take 12 or more credits at any of the community college district institutions.  In order for students to keep the program, they need to keep a 2.0 GPA.

In October 2017, the tuition program was created after the state passed a bill called AB-19 which created the California College Promise.  

California released the budget for the bill at the start of the 2018 fiscal year, which is on July 1 of every year.  Once the budget was released, Brooks said, “By the time it was approved and by the time it went through all the discussions it was a matter of a week.”

According to Brooks, as of September 5, there are 1,286 students approved and enrolled in the free tuition program.  

Ramiro Martinez, undeclared, heard about this program at Viking Day over the summer, although he did not end up applying.  Martinez said, “It’s really helpful even though DVC isn’t that expensive.”  He also suggested that posters and flyers should be used around campus to help get the word out to students.

Justin Bennett, undeclared, is an enrolled student in the tuition program.  Bennett loved how easy the process of applying was. Bennett said, “It lined up with my education plan.”

For students that are already enrolled in this program it can only help them continue to succeed with their college career.

Michael Gutierrez contributed to this article.

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