Applications Now Being Accepted for Tuition-Free San Diego Promise Program

Photo Courtesy of SDCCD: File photo of San Diego Promise students from San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges.

Thinking of attending San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar College? Why not attend for free?

Students enrolling for the fall semester at the San Diego Community College District (SDCCD) are being invited to apply for the tuition-free San Diego Promise, a program that has served more than 6,300 students over the past five years and is among the most successful programs of its kind in the state. Benefits include up to two years of free tuition and health fees, individualized counseling and guidance, book grants for eligible students, and access to peer mentors. Students are encouraged to apply by June 11 to receive priority registration and admission to the program.

Almost all those taking part in the San Diego Promise are a first-time college student. Also eligible are former foster youth, military veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and undocumented or AB 540-eligible students.

Signing up has never been easier. It begins with applying for admission to San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar College, which accept 100% of all student applicants; submitting a financial aid application via the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the California Dream Act; and following through on a resulting invitation to apply for the Promise via the MySDCCD web portal.

Once accepted to the Promise, students will be asked to complete a new-student orientation and meet with a college counselor to develop an education plan, sign a Promise contract, take part in a Promise orientation, and then register for classes.

Promise students are required to enroll in a minimum of 12 units each semester, and maintain a 2.0 GPA.

Students say tutoring and counseling services are invaluable. Gedle Gedleh, a San Diego City College computer engineering student, held out particular praise for the access to tutoring. “They are really nice people, they are people just like me, and it actually helps a lot. I’m extremely grateful for the services that are available.”

Studies show Promise students fare better academically than their non-Promise peers, and graduates have gone on to transfer to four-year institutions such as UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego.