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MiraCosta College to offer students 2 years tuition-free

Beginning this fall, the first two years of college will be free for first-time, full-time MiraCosta students.

MiraCosta College recently announced its expansion of the MiraCosta College Promise to include subsidizing tuition and mandatory fees for all first-time, full-time students for two years. 

The MiraCosta Promise, first initiated in fall 2017, originally provided one year of tuition-free college to financially eligible students, along with up to $1,000 for textbooks and other supplies. 

According to Kristen Huyck, communications director for MiraCosta, a student had to graduate from an accredited high school or live within the MiraCosta Community College District boundaries to be eligible for the Promise before this expansion. 

Now, in order to be eligible, a student must be a first-time college student, apply to MiraCosta for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters and commit to enrolling in 12 units, be a California resident and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or a California Dream Act Application (CADAA).

“Income is not a requirement” under MiraCosta’s expanded Promise, Huyck said via email. 

The second year of subsidized tuition and fees is contingent upon the state’s pending budget approval. 

If passed, Assembly Bill 2 would expand the 2017 bill that dispersed $46 million to the state’s community colleges with the option to cover the first year of tuition fees for students to two years instead of just one. 

AB2 mirrors Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to make a full two years of community college free for students, which included an additional $40 million in his budget to fund the second year. 

“MiraCosta College is committed to expanding opportunities for students to complete a degree and/or certificate,” Huyck said. “While the outcome in the passage of AB 2 is in the hands of the state legislature and potentially the governor, the district is hopeful that AB 2 funding can assist in the removal of one of the financial barriers for future students.”

According to Huyck, the MiraCosta Promise will subsidize tuition and mandatory fees for all first-time, full-time college students for only one year if AB2 fails. 

Additionally, MiraCosta already provides students free access to support services such as academic counseling and educational planning.