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The California Community Colleges announced Tuesday that the Board of Governors Fee Waiver program, which nearly half of the system's 2.1 million students with free tuition, would be renamed the California College Promise Grant

"California has long been a leader in college opportunity," said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the system's chancellor, in a news release. "By rebranding our fee waiver program as the Colleg Promise, we are aligning our historical commitment to affordability with the successful Promise partnership model to send the message that college is within reach to young Californians who otherwise may not see higher education as an option." 

The need-based fee waiver program is first-dollar, which means it covers tuition first before any other financial aid awarded to the student. That allows students to use other financial aid to offset the cost of textbooks, transportation and other expenses.