Diablo Valley College, or DVC, is a two-year community college in Pleasant Hill. Often students from Las Lomas go to DVC after graduating high school and later transfer to a four year college.
Last October, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California College Promise Program, which provides free tuition to freshmen attending any community college in California, into law under Assembly Bill 19. This new law is a gamechanger for students choosing to go to DVC after graduating.
With few stipulations, almost anyone can receive free tuition as a college freshman. According to Anne Fuller, the College and Career Counselor here at Las Lomas, one must: be a first-time college student, enroll in a minimum of 12 units, complete an application form called the FAFSA, and have a complete education plan. Additionally, if a student is not a citizen of the United States, they can apply for the California Dream Act application and still receive free education.
Cristobal C., a student ambassador at DVC, explained what most students do in order to receive free tuition: “FP3 [which] stands for first time plus full time equals free tuition. This is a new program that started during the last academic year and it’s a program that basically means… If it’s their first time coming as a college student and they sign up to take full time classes, which for us would [mean enrolling] in 12 credits, then they automatically qualify to receive free tuition for their first full year which would be a spring semester and a fall semester.”
The cost of college can be an obstacle for some students, but with free education, more students will have the opportunity to attend college and get a higher education. With these programs, students will be saving about $1,000 in tuition for one full academic year, or $46 per unit. As stated by Cristobal C., “There are a lot of students eligible to benefit from the FP3 program. The financial cost of college is a huge barrier, so for us to have this program will really help take down one less barrier so they can be successful when it comes to college.”
Overall, now that DVC is offering free tuition for freshmen, more students will want to attend community college. As Anne Fuller pointed out, “…usually we have a third of our students go to DVC; I think it’s going to be closer to almost half of them going forward. I will be interested to find out the statistics.”
Considering all your options can benefit you in the future– maybe take some time out of your day to check out DVC.