San Francisco pays off 13,000 ex-City College students’ debts

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Franciscans who attended City College within the last five years are getting their debts erased with taxpayer dollars.

Mayor London Breed and City College Chancellor David Martin announced debt relief of outstanding student fees for thousands of San Francisco residents who attended City College. With a $2.1-million allocation in the city’s budget, more than 13,000 former students will once again be able to enroll in classes and continue pursuing their educations, according to the mayor’s office.

A fee balance of as little as $10 prevents a student from enrolling in any classes.

“With this new funding allocation, thousands of students who attended City College between August 2017 and December 2022 will see holds lifted from their accounts allowing them to be able to once again enroll in classes,” the mayor’s office wrote.

“Thousands of community members who couldn’t previously enroll in classes will now be able to continue their education. Removing financial barriers that City College students face is crucial to their success,” Breed said. “City College provides residents with enriching higher education classes, career training courses, and opportunities to build new skills.”  

The Free City College program is a partnership between City College and the City and County of San Francisco with the goal to provide San Francisco residents with free tuition to the college. Eligible students received free tuition through City College, but some students accrued additional fees, such as fees for transcript, materials, or late withdrawal fees.

In this year’s budget, the city provided $16.8 million for tuition for San Francisco residents.

“From free tuition, enrollment fee assistance to student debt relief, San Francisco continues its leadership in the nation to create student supports and remove barriers to post-secondary education for its residents,” said SF Department of Children, Youth and Their Families Executive Director Maria Su.

City College serves more than 60,000 students annually at several educational centers throughout the city.

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