San Francisco has become the first city to offer free community college tuition in the United States for its residents.
“To California residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free,” said Mayor Ed Lee at the press conference on Feb. 7.
Tuition will be funded through Proposition W, which increases the tax on the sale of houses and property which voters approved of last November.
Students will also receive fee waivers worth up to $250 for books and other necessities.
The proposed deal is expected to take effect this coming fall.
With other cities such as New York stepping up to the plate, a new hope for college students outside those cities has arisen.
Trace Spoon is one of those many students attending a community college that has hope for Stockton to do the same.
“If they can do it, we can do it,” said Spoon.
He, like many other students agree that it would help Delta College as much as the Stockton community as a whole.
“There’s this misconception about Stockton, I was born and raised here, and it’s really not that bad,” said Spoon.
Joshua Javier, is another Delta College student who also has hope for free tuition.
“Although I have one semester left in college, I still have hope. I believe we can, whether it’s taxing more on sales of houses or not. It would help the city of Stockton clean a bit of its reputation but most importantly it would help those students who can’t afford a higher education,” said Javier.
Free tuition would help San Joaquin Delta College’s enrollment numbers skyrocket, educate more Stockton residents, offer more jobs and encourage others to move to the city.
Fernando Canela, a student at Delta College doesn’t agree with the idea that a free tuition deal should be made in Stockton.
“Free tuition sounds good and all, but I already receive a lot of help from FASFA and the BOG waiver. A new free tuition deal would take that help from students like myself. FASFA would probably cut my help down to 50 percent. I’m still struggling with both help, I can only imagine how heartbreaking it would be if it would get cut down. I probably would have to get another job to support my education,” Canela said.
Professor of Political Science of San Joaquin Delta College, Joel H. Blank also discusses the idea of free tuition not being the best choice.
“Offering something free, doesn’t always means it’s best. There’s so many more issues here in Stockton aside from education. Stockton and San Francisco’s economies are too different.
Free tuition isn’t enough.
Although, I do believe we have a great faculty here on campus, we don’t have enough full time committed professors. There’s just not enough professors. The bottom line is how do we get more students into a community college? How to encourage them to stay? Money plays a big role,” said Blank.