Brown signs free community college bill

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Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 19, which allows California community college students to attend the first year of college for free.

The news is met with mixed feelings on the Delta College campus. Some think it’d be beneficial while some think it’s not fair to students who have been community college students for some time. 

“My opinion on that is its really cool,” said Delta College student Sananh Inthisane. “But having that first year free, like what about other students that already came here? They paid their stuff and didn’t get here for free. Maybe they should get the equal opportunity of having a year free too.”

Another concern if Inthisane is how the new bill will work with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“What about FAFSA? What will they do with the extra money? I know it’ll come in handy but it wouldn’t have a purpose.”

Briea Conlan said it’s a great idea.

“I think they should make it free because the first year of college is always the hardest.” Conlan said. “You’re trying to figure everything out, you’ve got to fill out applications, figure out how you’re going to get your text books and pay for the classes, because not everybody qualifies for a bog waiver fee or financial aid.”

Student Joshua Cameuzano also thinks the bill is a good idea.

“I think it would be great. A lot of students go to community college just because of the fact that there are too many expenses to go to Universities or state schools, so being able to just go to school for free for first time students would be an amazing thing. Especially for people who actually want the education,” said Cameuzano.

Though the bill will allow students to attend community college for free, some students like Ayoka Bent thinks it could do more harm than good.

“Why should people get in for free? They should pay like everyone else had to,” she said. “And the economy isn’t good so it will do more damage to it.”

According to the bill, the requirement is to be a full-time student, taking 12 units a semester.

“One academic year’ means the total of the summer term that immediately precedes the first semester or quarter of the fall term, and the two consecutive semesters or three quarters that immediately follow that summer term. Each semester or quarter is approximately the same length,” according to bill material.