Four promise students wearing promise t-shirts

The San Diego Promise is open to first-time, full-time (12 units per semester) students enrolling at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges. Participants must have recently graduated from a California high school or completed high school equivalency (HiSet, GED) in June 2019.

Application deadline is June 28 for free community college program

June 17, 2019 | San Diego Community College District

Students have until June 28 to sign up for the San Diego Promise – the San Diego Community College District’s tuition-free college program. Enrollment in the two-year program is currently underway for the 2019-20 academic year at City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

Already, more than 1,700 students from 198 California high schools have signed up for the San Diego Promise, which provides tuition and textbook grants for up to two years for first-time, full-time students. District officials say this is about a three-fold increase over 2018 at the same time, an indication that more and more students are aware of the program.

Signing up for the San Diego Promise is simple and can be done in three steps: completing a fall 2019 admissions application for City, Mesa, or Miramar colleges; completing a 2019-20, online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act application; and completing a Promise application. All first-time students are eligible to apply, regardless of financial status. Students can apply at

In addition to financial assistance, the San Diego Promise also provides individualized counseling, and hands-on support to help students develop a plan to meet their educational and career goals. San Diego Promise participants attend orientation and workshops and receive frequent reminders and follow up communications to assist them in remaining on track.

“The San Diego Promise offers much more than a financial guarantee,” said Lynn Neault, SDCCD Vice Chancellor of Student Services. “The program’s many wrap-around services  result in San Diego Promise students faring better than their non-Promise counterparts academically.”

Recently, the district announced that fundraising for the San Diego Promise had exceeded $1 million in program support to date. This will enable the San Diego Promise to continue as a two-year, free tuition program regardless of the passage of Assembly Bill 2. Authored by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles), AB 2 would expand the statewide program from one to two years.

The San Diego Promise launched as a pilot program funded by private funds in 2016 with an initial cohort of 186 students whose freshman year came tuition free. Fundraising allowed the SDCCD to raise that number to 661 participants in 2017-18. After a new state law provided funding for California Community Colleges to cover a student’s first year of college, the San Diego Promise expanded to 2,100 participants in 2018-19 and included the first two years of tuition and fees for all first-time, full-time students.

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