SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica College’s Promise Plan will continue to expand into other California community colleges starting in 2020.

Governor Gavin Newsom continued his promise of, “making meaningful steps toward chipping away at the cost of higher learning for students and their families.”

In 2018, SMC’s Promise Plan vowed to offer first-time students two years of free tuition and up to $1,800 in textbook purchase vouchers. Students have been able to enroll in the first two years of their junior education regardless of financial need. SMC’s program allowed any student that graduated from a California high school to participate.

Kathryn Jeffrey, President of SMC, was a strong supporter of students having the opportunity to focus on their academics without the stress of worrying about their finances. When the program was announced, she mentioned that they would be able to graduate at a faster rate than they would have working demanding jobs.

Two years after its debut, the Promise Plan is expected to be implemented at all California community colleges. The new state budget includes $42.6 million to allow a second year of free tuition for more than 33,000 low-income California students.

Over $9 million will be utilized towards funding college students who are homeless or experiencing housing insecurity, $5 million will be applied to support veteran resource centers at community colleges, and $4.75 million will support workforce development programs at select community colleges.