Leaders and students hold up letters spelling promise

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, SDCCD Chancellor Constance M. Carroll, SDCCD Board President Maria Senour, SDUSD Superintendent Cindy Marten, and San Diego Mesa College President Pamela Luster were joined by San Diego Promise students at a 2018 news conference held at Mesa College.

San Diego Promise celebrates 4th anniversary

February 13, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

The tuition-free San Diego Promise program celebrates its fourth anniversary February 18, the date when the San Diego Community College District’s (SDCCD) Board of Trustees unanimously implemented the America’s College Promise initiative locally.

The SDCCD was among the first in California to launch its Promise program, which has served 4,360 students at San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges since its implementation and is now one of the largest in the state.

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San Diego Promise

The San Diego Promise started as a locally funded pilot with an initial cohort of 186 students in the 2016-17 academic year and grew to include 664 participants in 2017-18. In October 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 19, which created the California College Promise, a program providing free tuition for one year at the state’s community colleges for eligible full-time students. That move significantly bolstered funding for the San Diego Promise and allowed the SDCCD to expand the program to cover two full years of tuition for first-time, full-time students. A total of 2,042 were covered in 2018-19, and that number grew to 2,889 students in the fall of 2019.

Funded through the support of generous donors – who have contributed more than $1 million to the effort – and the statewide California College Promise, the San Diego Promise provides not only two full years of tuition-free education, but also book grants for those in need, individualized counseling, and hands-on support to help students develop an educational plan meeting their career and academic goals.

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