Historic offer made possible by COVID federal relief grants
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, November 17, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — For the first time in its 100-year history, San José City College (SJCC) students who are California residents and taking at least 6-units will not have to pay for tuition or fees in the spring 2022 term. SJCC will invest federal COVID-19 recovery funds to make the prospect of a free semester of college a reality.
“As an educator in the California Community College system for more than 26 years, offering free college to our students is a rare and extraordinary opportunity,” said Dr. Rowena M. Tomaneng, SJCC president. “It may be for just one semester, but if we can open our doors to everyone in our community regardless of income level, the potential to change lives is tremendous.”
The initiative is made possible by the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), designated for higher education institutions to address the immediate and urgent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and colleges.
Like many California Community Colleges during the pandemic, SJCC has seen enrollment drop since fall semester 2019. Moving all instruction to an online modality was challenging for students, faculty, and classified professionals. In fall semester 2021, SJCC resumed 30-percent of its courses to in-person and hybrid instruction and plans to increase in-person instruction to 70-percent in spring 2022.
To qualify for free tuition and no fees, students must do the following:
•Apply for admission by Feb. 13, 2022, by 11:59 pm
•Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), California Dream Act Application, or California College Promise Grant for the 2021-2022 Award Year.
•Register for classes.
Students do not have to qualify for financial aid to receive the free tuition no fees opportunity, but they must complete at least one of the financial aid applications. About 3,900 SJCC students do not receive financial aid but will be eligible for the offer. SJCC is a dual-designated Minority Serving Institution (HSI and AANAPISI), with over 75-percent of its students coming from historically underserved and low-income communities.
“We have many students who may not know they qualify for financial aid, and this is an excellent opportunity to help them with the process,” said Dr. Tomaneng. “For those who don’t qualify, they will be able to attend SJCC regardless of their financial circumstances, everyone benefits.”
What does the free college initiative cover?
•Tuition, also known as Enrollment Fees
•Health Services Fee
•Student Activity Fee
•Student Representation Fee
•VTA EcoPass Fee (bus pass)
•California residents and in-state students
•Students registered in 6 or more units for spring 2022
•High school students (Dual Enrollment)
•AB 540 students
SJCC also offers its students free loaner laptops, tutoring, and groceries. Open enrollment for the entire community begins on Nov. 29, and the spring term starts on Jan. 31, 2022.