Free tuition for Long Beach Unified School District graduates who attend Long Beach City College will expand to two years starting in fall of 2019, LBCC announced this month.
California residents already can receive one year tuition-free at California community colleges if they enroll full-time, thanks to last year’s passage of Assembly Bill 19, also known as the California College Promise legislation. With LBCC’s latest announcement, all LBUSD graduates are now automatically eligible for the second year tuition-free if they attend LBCC immediately after graduation. The funding for the second year will be provided by the LBCC Foundation.
“LBCC was one of the first California Community Colleges to provide students with a free first year of tuition prior to the passage of AB 19,” LBCC President Reagan Ferragamo Romali said. “Thanks to the generosity of the LBCC Foundation, we will continue to grow our Long Beach College Promise and help LBUSD students by removing the financial barriers to higher education.”
Cal State Long Beach, LBCC and the school district first committed to The Promise in 2008, extending the promise of a college education to every LBUSD student. The City of Long Beach and its Mayor’s Office joined the initiative in 2014. Most recently the Port of Long Beach joined the effort in September 2018. The Promise has served as a model for communities in California and across the nation to develop partnerships centered on student success.
Elements of The Promise include increased access to early childhood education; college tours for 4th and 5th graders; a middle school pledge by students and parents, committing to college readiness; the free tuition at LBCC; a focus on internships; and guaranteed admission to CSULB for qualifying students.
The LBCC Foundation provided a free semester to LBUSD graduates in 2008 with the start of the The Promise, and then expanded into a full year in 2015.
“For the past 10 years, the LBCC Foundation has been securing gifts from the community to fund the Long Beach College Promise scholarship,” LBCC Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth McCann said. “The LBCC Foundation is thrilled to offer this wonderful benefit for the second year of college for LBUSD students to achieve their college education with less financial burden. As a proud product of LBUSD, this is particularly near and dear to me.”
“There is a whole community of individuals, corporations and local groups like the Long Beach Rotary who give generously to the LBCC Foundation,” LBCC Foundation Board of Governors President Lorain Brault said. “Thanks to our community, the Foundation can expand this gift of education to our Long Beach College Promise students.”