Cabrillo College Promise: One free year for all Santa Cruz County Students
Students listening to teacher in classroom


APTOS >> Cabrillo College is making a promise: One free year of education for all local students, regardless of family income.

The Cabrillo College Promise Program debuts this fall, offering local high school graduates the opportunity to take a year of college coursework without paying a dime of tuition. Books and other fees, such as parking and living expenses, are not included.

The program is a step closer to the original vision of tuition-free community college, said Cabrillo College President Matthew Wetstein.

“We’re returning to that vision of higher ed from what many call the golden-era of expansion,” Wetstein said.

To qualify, students must be enrolling at Cabrillo College for the first time, have graduated in the spring from a Santa Cruz County high school, and enroll in a full load of coursework — 12 or more units — for the fall term. Students also need to complete a FAFSA, the federal financial aid application, complete a New Student Orientation in the fall and develop an individualized education plan with a Cabrillo counselor.

Students from low-income families are already able to have their Cabrillo tuition waived under the ongoing Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver program.

“This is a program designed to bridge beyond the most needy students who qualify for free tuition already,” Wetstein said. “It basically takes the money off the table and says, ‘Look, we’re not only going to save you $1,100 of community college tuition for a year, we’re also going to save you the opportunity cost to not have to pay the tuition at a CSU or UC.’” Read more…