San Francisco Announces Deal for Tuition-Free Community College


Notice the shift in the wording? The article starts off by saying that college is tuition-free. Then it says that it’s funded through a real estate transfer tax. That means that people will pay more in real estate taxes (including rentals) in order to transfer the wealth to the students.

That’s not “free”. Via NBC News

San Francisco is expected to be the first city in the United States to offer free community college to its residents regardless of income under a deal announced Monday by Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim.

Under the deal, the city will guarantee nearly $5.4 million annually to the City College of San Francisco, a public, two-year community college, to pay for the $46-per-credit tuition fees of students. The funding will apply to California residents who have lived in San Francisco for at least one year and a day and is expected to start next fall. More than 28,000 students stand to benefit from this proposal, according to Kim.

Mayor Ed Lee on Twitter

We’re eliminating a major barrier #SF residents face by making #CCSF accessible to all our local residents

“As a child of working-class immigrants, I know first-hand the importance of a college education and the struggles to pay for it,” Lee said in a statement. “Working together, we found an economic plan that would make City College accessible to our city residents and give additional support to those students struggling the most. This commitment will provide our residents the opportunity to attend college, continue to learn and create better lives for themselves. This is an investment in our youth, in our city and in our future.”

The plan is funded through a real estate transfer tax increase approved by San Francisco voters last November. Proposition W, which passed with 61.93 percent of the vote, raised the tax by .25 percent for commercial and real estate properties sold at $5 million or more. The increase is expected to raise an average of $44 million annually in new revenue, according to Kim, who proposed the measure and its funding proposal.

HT: Scott Dredge

1 thought on “San Francisco Announces Deal for Tuition-Free Community College”

  1. Scott Dredge

    It’s basicially just political posturing. Regular cost per credit is $46. When I was in community college years ago, I paid $6 total per semester and made the most of it en route to my electrical engineering degree. Back then the downside was that when I signed up for classes they were routinely full and I had to waitlist / add them as others dropped. The $46 per credit helps in preventing non-serious students from signing up in the first place.

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