San Francisco Mulls Free Community College

April 21, 2016

Following the Los Angeles mayor's announcement that the city will begin offering one year of free community college tuition to high school graduates, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is looking to do the same for that city's residents.

Supervisor Jane Kim introduced a proposal to eliminate tuition for City College of San Francisco students and to help them cover the cost of books, transportation and child care.

The Free City College Proposal would eliminate enrollment fees for all San Francisco residents and workers who work at least part time in the city. Students whose fees are already covered by financial aid would still be eligible for up to $1,000 in grants for textbooks, transportation and child care. Currently, California community college enrollment fees are $46 per unit. Students who attend full time for a year pay about $1,100 annually. Out-of-state and international students would not qualify for the plan.

"San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the word -- the cost of living has increased exponentially. When students have to make the choice between paying rent or paying tuition, buying groceries or buying textbooks, we have to act," Kim said in a news release. "Higher education isn't a luxury. It's a fundamental necessity if we want San Franciscans to be able to compete in the 21st-century workplace. We have a plan that can fully fund this proposal to help over 20,000 students from all walks of life, of all ages, to pursue their dreams."

The plan estimates that 80 percent of CCSF students have San Francisco zip codes. The plan could cost the city $12.8 million a year and would be implemented no later than 2017, if passed, according to the San Francisco Examiner.

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