Community college district plans to end tuition

The College of San Mateo campus. CSM is one of three schools within the San Mateo County Community College District. Photo from the CSM website.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The San Mateo County Community College District has board voted to spend $6.75 million to make tuition free.

The $6.75 million, approved Wednesday by the district’s board, will expand programs the college district already operates that are intended to help needy students. The county Board of Supervisors will provide $2 million to expand the district’s Promise Scholars Program. The district is aiming to double the size of that program, which currently has about 2,000 full-time students enrolled.

In the program, students get help from a dedicated counselor, about $1,600 in fee waivers, textbooks and a monthly stipend for food or transportation.

Promise Scholars will get another $1.5 million from the California College Promise program and $400,000 from the college district’s foundation. Other money will come from the district’s regular budget.

Free text books

The $6.75 million will also expand the district’s zero textbook cost program, which provides free course materials to students who need them, and its high school dual-enrollment program. That allows high schoolers to take community college classes.

Currently, 2,798 students are enrolled both in high school and one of the district’s three community colleges — College of San Mateo, Canada in Redwood City and Skyline in San Bruno.

Most of the district’s dual enrollment students attend Skyline. The college board plans to more than double the number of high school students who go to classes at one of the county’s community colleges.

Shuttle system

The board on Wednesday also approved spending $421,200 to restart its shuttle system that takes students from East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Redwood City to Canada College.


  1. Didn’t know Bernie Sanders was on the college trustees board. Can’t these kids get jobs and learn the value of a dollar. Instead we’re giving them the lesson that everything should be free. That’s socialism. Next time the college district has a tax on the ballot I’m voting NO!

  2. @Megan Do you have kids? Could you afford to send them to college? My son DOES WORK and goes to school. Why shouldn’t he be able to attend community college for free? I can’t afford to pay his tuition and he can’t afford it on his own. Any help for him to have a good education and a college degree is good for society as far as I’m concerned.

  3. @Jc, au contraire, I worked for everything I own and I don’t want to share with freeloaders!

    How would you like it if I came over to your house and took something you liked because I thought it was “fair” and I believed you were “privileged”?

    Jc, those of us who have earned what we own have a different perspective than people who have inherited their wealth.

    • Ah yes, another “I did it all on my own” boomer. Since you’re so self reliant, do you support cutting your Social Security benefits so that tax increases to fund your retirement aren’t necessary? Given your go it alone mindset, the answer has to be yes…unless you’re another hypocritical conservative.

      • Leo, Social Security was sold to America as a savings program — what’s taken out of your check would be invested and held until your retirement. It wasn’t supposed to be co-mingled with the federal budget. Remember Al Gore’s lock boxes? It wasn’t supposed to be a welfare program. Now you’re saying that liberals like you Leo have messed up Social Security to the extent that we need tax dollars to rescue it? If that’s true Leo we should never elect another liberal again!

  4. We pay collectively for fire prevention, police protection, and grade school education. Charging per service means many would not engage otherwise and that would cost us more. Unreported fires and uneducated citizens are more expensive.

    This month more than nine million Americans said they wanted jobs and couldn’t get them. While companies reported more than nine million jobs they couldn’t fill. A big part of that is the skill gap between high school and entry-level jobs.

    We need to improve and expand public education so it is an effective on-ramp to useful participation in our economy. Two years of college is a great investment in closing that gap and getting America working again. Smart choice San Mateo.

  5. The 9 million figure includes people who are getting enhanced unemployment benefits and don’t want to take a lower-paying job. So in states where these people are required to look for work, they fill out job applications but never show up for interviews. The 9 million figure is distorted by these loafers.

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