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New program promises to cover tuition costs for first time students

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First-time community college students can now have their first year of tuition paid for due to a new state program.

The Los Rios Promise Program waives the tuition costs of the first year for new, full-time students. To be eligible, students must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units and submitted a FAFSA or Dream Act application. A student’s income does not affect his or her eligibility.

“The Los Rios Promise Program is funding that came down from the state to encourage and incentivize students to take full-time coursework,” said Dean of Student Services Chad Funk.

The program came from Assembly Bill 19, which was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 13, 2017. For Cosumnes River College, the program started over the summer.

If you meet the requirements for the program but missed out, Funk said you could be eligible for a refund.

“You can get a refund up until the end of the semester,” said Funk. “As long as you were enrolled in the classes and had a FAFSA on file.”

Funk said he recommends students visit the financial aid office and have them verify their eligibility.

Some have questioned whether the state will be able to continue to fund AB 19 in future years. However, Funk said he certainly believes the funding will be there for this year and next year.

“We are talking right now about the students starting in spring and if there’s enough money monetarily,” said Funk. “I do believe the program will remain next year and the hope is that even more students will take advantage of it.”

Mun Kang, assistant professor for the Radio, Television and Film department, showed support for these programs that benefit students.

“I’m all about helping students succeeding, graduating, getting their certificates and degrees,” Kang said. “So students going to school for free, I think, is always helpful.”

New students on campus who weren’t aware of the program said they liked the idea of the Los Rios Promise Program.

“I think it’s a good thing,” said 17-year-old nursing student Sky Lomendehe. “Students can actually experience college first before choosing to go ahead with a career instead, so it could encourage people to go to college first just to test the waters.”

Eighteen-year-old Albert Buzon, an undeclared major, said it’s nice for students to get something to help them if they need some support.

“It sounds like a great help honestly,” said Buzon. “Some students don’t really know what they are getting into.”

For more information on the Los Rios Promise Program, visit the CRC website at https://www.crc.losrios.edu/services/finaid/los-rios-promise-program-ab19-

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New program promises to cover tuition costs for first time students