Free Tuition for Transfer Students is a Great First Step to Free College in California


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This photo illustrates major aspects of student life during college.

As of very recent, California has proposed free college tuition for community college students who transfer into four-year universities with an associates degree for transfer degree. 

As a matter of fact, California has come a long way to make education more accessible to California resident students. Skyline College was actually one of the first community colleges in California to offer a bachelor’s degree, currently the only one available is a bachelor of science degree for respiratory care. 

California has made great strides in making colleges more affordable even though recently there had been a proposal to increase the University of California’s overall tuition cost. 

While public colleges should be free to all students, making it free for transfer students would be a good first step to take in making four-year universities more affordable. 

More students would be able to achieve their degree programs and perhaps many incoming college students from high school would enroll in the community college system before transferring. 

As of January 2020 an assembly bill has been authored by Los Angeles Assemblyman Miguel Santiago. The bill otherwise known as AB-1862 has been gaining momentum within recent weeks. 

The bill proposes that California State University shall not charge tuition or mandatory systemwide fees for enrollment at a campus of a university for any academic year, up to two academic years, to a California Community College transfer student who has satisfied completing an associate degree for transfer. 

While the bill has been sent to the Committee on Higher Education but may take a long time to finally reach a place where decisions could be made. 

Proponents may argue that this would be a very costly move to make. After all, somebody does have to pay for the free tuition. 

Others may also disagree because they might say that four year universities already have many impacted programs and making it free would worsen that problem. 

Many degree programs in California State Universities are already impacted and making tuition free for transfer students may worsen the problem by impacting more programs. 

While AB-1862 may be a stretch for some, it could be easily achievable to reach the financial demands needed for it to happen. This could be provided simply by allocating more funds to public higher education in California. 

California could become the first state to really make college education as close to free as possible.

Some of the benefits of free college for transfer students are that it would reduce and perhaps even eliminate the amount of student debt. It would allow students to focus on their education and complete their programs without having to work full time and become sidetracked from their career and educational aspirations. 

Free tuition for community college transfer students would also encourage people to attend community colleges after having dropped out to gain an associates degree and aspire for reaching for a bachelor’s degree. 

Currently, the highest completion rate for college students is highest for those who attend private and non profit colleges. The lowest are for those who attend two-year universities. 

And perhaps this is because many students who attend community colleges look down upon their own journey towards achieving a higher education and become discouraged. Not to mention the academic struggles many community college students may face due to financial hardships. In the grand scheme of things, however, many would benefit from this new proposal.