More Delta College students are eligible for fee waivers thanks to a recently approved state law that aims to make a college education affordable for everyone.
Assembly Bill 19, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in late 2017, waives fees for first-time California community college students for their first academic year.
Unlike other fee waiver programs, there is no income requirement to receive the AB 19 Grant. It is available to all students who meet a few basic eligibility requirements and are willing to fill out financial aid forms.
A student taking 12 units per semester will save $1,104 over the course of a year thanks to the AB 19 Grant. And the savings will be even greater if that student takes more units and enrolls for the summer term as well.
“It is very exciting to know that more students will have their tuition costs covered regardless of need or income eligibility,” said Angela Tos, dean of enrollment services and student development. “I have always felt that San Joaquin Delta College is an excellent educational choice; it is my hope that more students and their families will take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to them at Delta.”
Here’s how the AB 19 Grant works:
• Students must apply for financial aid with either the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the CADAA (California Dream Act Application). If they are found eligible for the AB 19 Grant, Delta will automatically pay their fees.
• The grant will cover their first academic year, which is defined as the summer, fall and spring semesters, in that order. If they enroll in college for the first time in the spring, that is the only semester that will be covered.
• Students must take 12 units or more each semester. They must be California residents or exempt from nonresident tuition under a different law known as AB 540. They must also be first-time college students.
• They cannot be receiving any other fee waiver.
Making college affordable for all has long been a vision of Delta College and the entire California Community Colleges system. Under a separate program known as the California College Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver), about two-thirds of Delta students already pay no tuition.
The AB 19 Grant will help even more students because anyone can receive it regardless of family income. In sum, more students are now eligible for fee waivers than at any point in the past three decades.
“In addition to helping our first-time students pay no tuition, this new grant gives those that might not otherwise submit a financial aid application the ‘push’ to complete the application,” said Tina Lent, Delta’s director of financial aid, scholarships and veterans services. “This will allow more students who might think they don’t qualify the ability to receive additional financial aid.”
In addition to fee waivers, Delta students can take advantage of other programs to help offset the cost of books and other expenses. Under the new Stockton Scholars program, Stockton Unified School District seniors are eligible for up to $500 per year to attend a community college; the application deadline is March 2, 2019. Visit stocktonscholars.org.
Delta also awards hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarships each year. Visit bit.ly/deltascholarships.
It’s not too late to enroll for Delta’s spring semester, which begins Jan. 14. Visit deltacollege.edu/apply to get started. For more information about the AB 19 Grant or any other financial aid services, email [email protected], call (209) 954-5115 or visit the first-floor lobby of the DeRicco Building on the Delta College campus in Stockton.