MODESTO, Calif. — Modesto Junior College declared free tuition for all students enrolling in the spring 2022 semester.
To bring back local residents who left school with daunting student debt, officials with the college said the institution also plans to eliminate all previous student debt and waive fees.
"So we are investing that money in the future of our community and our students here by offering them a free tuition so that they can come here and add courses and partake in the educational journey," said Modesto Junior College President, Santanu Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D.
Also, students enrolling in the spring 2022 semester who show proof of COVID-19 vaccination are also eligible to receive up to $250 cash as part of the college's vaccination incentive campaign. The campus book store will also provide a credit of up to $250 to people participating in the campaign, including students in dual high school enrollment.
Students like 29-year-old Rafael Garcia, who is a sophomore studying graphic design and gaming, said the free tuition will help with his college costs.
"It's great. I don't have to worry about my tuition for that semester," Garcia said.
24-year-old student Olivia Molina is studying to be a special education teacher and transfer to a university.
While her tuition is covered by grants, she believes the tuition-free campaign will make it easier for students to come to college, not having to research financial aid as she did.
"So I think it makes it very simple by offering free tuition, you know, to get people here because they don't have to do all that extra stuff," said Molina.
Proof of vaccination must be submitted by Friday, Dec. 10. Students can expect a link to upload vaccine information on their school email account after completing registration.
Vaccination is not required to attend classes on-campus, as the Yosemite Community College District has yet to implement a mandate on immunizations.
After completing the federal student aid application known as FAFSA, college students can expect cost-free education for the first half of the school year.
More information for students is available on the Modesto Junior College website.
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