First U.S. City to Give Free College Revealed


The wealthiest of property owners in San Francisco will now foot the bill for tuition-free community college for all residents.

Mayor Ed Lee announced on Monday that all San Francisco residents, regardless of their income, will be able to attend community college free, thanks to an increase in property transfer taxes imposed on homes valued at $5 million or more.

“We can say to California residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free and quality,” Lee said in a press conference.

Nearly $5.4 million a year in funding will go to City College to pay for the tuition of eligible students who have lived in the city of San Francisco for at least a year and one day.

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Approximately 30,000 part- and full-time students will benefit, and low-income students will receive up to an additional $500 in grant money for books and expenses.

“This is probably one of the biggest factors that will determine not just the educational future of this city, but also the economic future of this city,” said Interim College Chancellor Susan Lamb.

The tuition-free program will likely go into effect next fall, say officials.


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