Free tuition possible for West Sac students

West Sacramento will soon be added to the long list of California cities offering to pay community college tuition to some of its high school students, officials told ABC10.

California community colleges have been offering free tuition since President Barack Obama announced a goal in his 2015 State of the Union Address to make college free for all Americans. Since then, about 30 campuses have a program that offers financial support to incoming freshman.

Officials with Sacramento City College and West Sacramento confirmed to ABC10 Friday that the two are in talks to create a similar program. 

"[Details are] still being fleshed out at this time," a Sac City official told ABC10 in an email. "I believe most [students] would go to the West Sac center, but I'm sure they could come to the main campus as well."

West Sacramento mayor Christopher Cabaldon first mentioned the idea of the city's version of the national "Promise" program during his 2013 State of the City address. The idea would be similar to that of Long Beach's partnership between its local schools and community colleges.

The proposed plan, which was approved after Measure E passed November 8, would allocate $400,000 to provide students free tuition and "a scholarship of up to $1,000" for every West Sacramento student enrolling full-time at a local community college. 

According to Art Pimentel, the Dean of Sac City's West Sacramento campus, the proposed plan would allow students to enroll at all three of the community college's campuses—Sacramento, West Sacramento and Davis—in the first year, and at any Los Rios Community College after that.

"There will be a meeting between the city and college in coming weeks to implement the plan that the mayor envisioned and the voters hoped for," Pimentel said.

Although the proposed plan is still in its initial phase, officials with both the college and the city project the proposed plan to go into effect late 2017.

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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