FREE City     Frequently Asked Questions


What is Free City?

Free City is a partnership between City College and the City & County of San Francisco to provide its residents free tuition to City College.

Who is eligible?

  • Students may qualify if they are both a California resident for one year & one day and a San Francisco resident.
  • Students may qualify for a non-resident exemption (AB540, AB 13, AB2000). 
  • Students may qualify if they are homeless or are a foster youth and meet the California residency requirement.

How do I apply for Free City?

Applying for Free City is part of the online City College registration system all year long.

  • First time students, and students returning after a two-semester or longer absence, first apply for admission to California Community Colleges by visiting “Online Application”. Once the application is processed, new and returning students register using the same steps as “Continuing Students” below.
  • Continuing Students visit to register for classes via City College’s web4 registration system. 
  • The Free City application form is embedded in the web4 registration system.

o   Log onto your web4 student account

o   Complete and submit the one-page Free City application form

o   The next web4 screen notifies you of your Free City eligibility. If you are eligible, your enrollment fees “tuition” will appear as waived charges on the payment screen.

  • In addition to the Free City enrollment fee “tuition” waiver, most of our students are eligible for significant state and federal financial support. After registering for classes, we strongly encourage you to file a Free Application for Federal  Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Application.

What is covered?

Enrollment fee per unit



What is NOT covered?

Health fee


Web registration fee


Student Activities fee


Student Representation fee


Course Material fees*


*only specific courses charge additional course materials fees, as noted in the course schedule


Who receives grants?

Students who apply for financial aid and are recipients of the California College Promise Grant will be eligible for an additional Free City grant.           

Students will earn $46 for each credit unit for which they are enrolled (ex: 10 units earns a grant for $460).

If I am receiving a Free City grant, how will I receive it?         

You will receive the first 50% of the disbursement after the last day to drop without a W (see instructional calendar), and receive the second 50% after midterms (see instructional calendar).


What if I drop my course?

1)  What happens if I drop my courses and Free City is paying my enrollment fees?

a.    If you drop courses before the date to receive a full refund, you owe nothing. Refund deadlines are next to each course listing on the college website at

b.   If you drop after the deadline to receive a full refund, then you are liable for all applicable fees, including enrollment fees/tuition for each course dropped, and the money will be returned to the Free City Program.

 2)  What happens if I drop my course and I am receiving a Free City grant?

a.     If you drop all courses, before the refund deadline, you are liable to reimburse the College for the grant amount.

b.     If you drop some units after the refund deadline, you are liable to return a portion of the grant. 

3)   How do I maintain eligibility?

  • Remain both a California resident and a San Francisco resident. 
  • Qualify for a non-resident exemption (AB540, AB 13, AB2000).
  • Meet the California residency requirement as a homeless person or foster youth.
  • Continue to follow college policies and requirements listed in the College Catalog.