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New California Bill Could Allow Community College Students To Transfer To A CSU Tuition-Free

A new bill introduced in the state of California on Jan. 7 could allow certain students from California community colleges to transfer to a California State University school tuition-free.

Assembly Bill 1862, introduced by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-District 53), would prohibit the charging of tuition or mandatory systemwide fees for enrollment for resident students transferring from a California Community College to a CSU school upon the completion of their associate degree. 

“The cost of a bachelor’s degree is just too damn high,” Santiago said to The California Globe. “Our students deserve the chance to earn a degree without being burdened by overwhelming debt. Providing two years of tuition-free CSU means students will save tens of thousands of dollars while earning their bachelor’s degree. AB 1862 puts that dream within reach for California students and their families.”

This is the second attempt at passing a bill of this kind. Its predecessor, also named AB 1862, was introduced in 2018 and died in the State Senate due to opposition over the wording of the bill. The new version of the legislation addresses the concerns that killed the original iteration, referring to the beneficiaries of the tuition aid as “residents” rather than “citizens” and by setting more requirements for aid.

“[AB 1862] will help thousands of students who otherwise couldn’t afford to pursue a bachelor’s degree to gain the education and workforce skills that California will desperately need in the coming decades,” Board of Equalization Chairman Antonio Vazquez said in an interview with Fox 11 Los Angeles.

AB 1862 is currently being heard in the Committee on Higher Education in the State Assembly.

Danielle Dawson is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at dmdawson@uci.edu.