The Need-to-Know About Two Year Colleges

Claritza Vaca

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First time college students can receive two years of community college free, but seniors are still confused about how to qualify for the free tuition.   

At Mt. SAC, where many seniors have decided to attend, students must complete the requirements of the ‘Promise + Plus’ program. First, applicants must be first time, first year college students. Second, students must attend and complete the Step into college program or the Summer Bridge Program. Third, students must enroll in 12+ units for full time benefits (6-11.5 units for part time benefits) during the Fall/Spring. Fourth, students must enroll in an English writing or Math class during Fall/Spring. Fifth, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher each term.   

Mt. SAC doesn’t just offer the first two years free. Their deal includes a free $ 250 book grant, free $100 food card, free laptop loan, free bus pass 24/7 on Foothill Transit lines, free Mountie Gear and school supplies. The Promise + Plus application is available through the Promise office in the student services building (9B). Students must complete the qualification steps listed above to receive Promise + Plus benefits.  

Mt. SAC is just one of the many community colleges offering the first two years of college free. Rio Hondo’s free college program is also called Promise and their requirements resemble those of Mt. SAC. This free tuition only applies to those attending community college full time.  

I wanted to interview some of our seniors to get their reaction to the news and if they plan on taking this opportunity. I decided to ask them all the same questions and get their different responses these are the questions I asked. Have you heard about this opportunity? How do you feel about this? Do you plan on taking advantage of this? Do you believe that making the first two years of community college free will help boost college enrollment?  

      “Yes, I did here about this opportunity the day our counselors came to our English class to talk about FAFSA. I feel like it’s a great financial assistance to those who can’t afford college. Yes, I will be attending community college its flexible and free and what’s better than that. Honestly yea because like I said before I feel like many people didn’t enroll to college because they simply couldn’t afford it.” – Briana Molina (12) 

     “Yes, I did my mom heard it on the news and I also heard it from my counselor. I feel like it’s good it’s about time college becomes affordable even if it’s just community college. I don’t think I will be attending a community college but knowing that it can be an option and a free one at that I might consider it. Yae community college is now almost free so why wouldn’t people want to further their education I mean a college degree opens more opportunities for you.” – Kelsey Aparicio (12) 

     “No, I didn’t know college was free for the first two years. Well I mean it’s a good thing so that more people can afford college. No, I don’t plan on attending college I am taking courses for real estate. Honestly yea I think people would enroll more to college now that’s its basically free I might change my mind about college in the near future if I decide to change career paths”– Anthony Corona (12) 

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