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New students struggling to pay tuition will have a break for the 2023-24 school year. Las Positas College will not charge tuition to new full-time students. 

The free tuition is funded by the California Promise Grant. Since 2019, the grant was used toward funding the Guided Pathways program and a textbook program for those who could not afford textbooks. In the next school year, the grant will be used to offer free tuition to all first time students.

To be eligible for the grant, there are qualifications that the student must meet. The student needs to be a first-year student and never have attended college, enrolled in at least 12 units and be a California resident or  California Dream Act student. 

Students who received college credit prior to high school graduation or enrolled at LPC during the summer immediately prior to the fall semester 2023 are still eligible to receive the Free Tuition Promise.

The purpose is to open the college to more students, to help make college affordable to all students  and to increase enrollment. Higher enrollment could increase the number of classes and sections, helping out struggling classes, says Dionica Ramos Ledesma, the Chabot-Las Positas Community College district Director of Public Relations, Marketing and Government Relations.

“Las Positas College has chosen to partner with the district office and Chabot College to make a greater push to promote the availability of financial assistance to encourage more students,” Ledesma said. “In particular, those who might otherwise feel that a college education is not within reachto register for classes”.

Some continuing Las Positas students are disappointed the promise is only available to first-timers.

“This is a positive move but I am sour I am not eligible,” first-year Fire Tech student Mason Purnell said. “I do question if it would affect the budget of the college.”

The Promise will cover the $46 per unit enrollment fee (tuition). At the minimum, each student that receives the Promise could save up to $552 each semester, and $966 the most. The free tuition promise only covers tuition and fees, not textbooks or living expenses.

“The free tuition will be beneficial to those who cannot get scholarships,” Middle school student Geneva Ollendorf said.

There is no income limit  for the free tuition Promise, nor minimum high school GPA.  Students who qualify for the California Community College Promise Grant fee waiver, which is different from the Free Tuition Promise, may receive additional funding.

Alan Lewis is a staff writer for the Express.

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