By Raymond Lo
According to the Pasadena Star News, on Mar. 29 Pasadena Community College (PCC) announced a new program called the PCC Promise that will allow local high schools to attend PCC free of cost for one year.
PCC released a list of public high schools in the San Gabriel Valley that qualify. Pasadena Now reported that the college worked with local school districts such as Temple City Unified, El Monte Unified, and Pasadena Unified, as well as California State Los Angeles to develop the program.
However, Gabrielino is not one of the schools included because it is not located in the Pasadena district. This is also the reason why San Gabriel is excluded from Rose Court Eligibility.
In order to apply for free tuition, students must enroll in nine units for the fall semester in PCC following their high school graduation. Students follow the same application process to apply for PCC Promise.
To remain in the program, students at PCC must maintain a 2.0 grade point average.
̈Southern California has some wonderful four-year institutions,” stated Former PCC President and California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott, “you have to be in the top 10 or 15 percent in order to get into one of those institutions. What are we going to do with the other 85 percent? We’re going to say to them, ‘At Pasadena City College, we welcome you.’
This ensures that while students may not be in the top 15 percent ranking of their school, they can still receive a quality education.
According to Pasadena Edu, PCC Promise applies after federal and state aid and private scholarships have been deducted from total tuition.
Pasadena Now also stated that due to the increase of tuition at Cal State University(CSU) and University of California(UC) by over 400 percent, the PCC Promise wants to make college available to students of all poverty levels.
PCC is now following in the footsteps of Barack Obama’s “America’s College Promise” in which one half of community college is free and students receive skills necessary to enter the workforce. This plan was geared towards making education affordable to everyone.
Students who enter the military will still be eligible for the program if they enroll in PCC one semester following the end of their service.
“PCC has been a gateway to a better life for residents of our region for more than 90 years,” said PCC Superintendent-President Rajen Vurdien to PasadenEdu. “The PCC Promise makes sure that gateway remains open for all the students we serve today and tomorrow.”