FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, August 25, 2023
Contact: Office of Student Affairs, StudentAffairsDiv@ccsf.edu
Debt Relief Is Underway For Thousands Of City College Students In The Free City Program
San Francisco, CA - For the over 13,000 City College students who have outstanding fees in their accounts, they have already begun receiving debt relief through the $2.1 million allocation in Mayor London Breed’s most recent budget. Once the fees have been applied the more than 13,000 current and former City College students will have a fresh start at pursing their educational and career aspirations.
"City College is grateful to Mayor Breed and City officials for the opportunity to provide thousands of San Franciscans with a fresh start on their educational journey,” said City College Chancellor David Martin. With this recent allocation of City funds, thousands of San Francisco residents who attended City College between August 2017 and December 2022 will see holds lifted from their accounts allowing them to be able to enroll in classes once again.
“This $2.1 million will eliminate outstanding student debt and open access to City College students that would otherwise have not been able to enroll,” said Alan Wong, City College Board of Trustees President, and Co-Chair of the Free City College Oversight Committee. “With this funding, we’ll be able to help a new generation of students transfer to four-year institutions and get job training.”
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 attend the College, or to provide grants to students who are financial aid recipients. Trustee Aliya Chisti noted "I take immense pride in leading crucial discussions that led to the elimination of debt for 13,000 students. Drawing from my role as the former Senior Policy Analyst for Free City and from my own experiences grappling with student debt, coupled with conversations with students and counselors, I knew something had to be done to dismantle this barrier our Free City students were facing. This issue was particularly important to me since I realized that students of color were most likely disproportionately impacted by this debt. I am thankful to our CCSF staff, DCYF, the Free City Oversight Committee, Mayor Breed, and the BOS, whose investment in our students has paved the way for a more inclusive and equitable future."
Eligible students who have a current outstanding balance can expect to see their debt eliminated beginning this week; this process will continue until all funds have been applied to accounts with outstanding balances. As the funds are applied and the holds are lifted, impacted students will receive either an email or text message notification from the College. As our current Student Trustee Heather Brandt, who is a system-impacted, working student parent, and mother of three, explained, "Whether as a result of the global pandemic, the increased cost of living, or the myriad of other reasons that create barriers to pursuing an education, removing the
outstanding debt students face through the Free City Program helps show the residents of San Francisco that there is always a place for them at CCSF. Always, has been and always will be! Here’s to continued access and opportunity for our community now and moving forward."
The City College of San Francisco has put the community in community college since 1935, with campuses and centers throughout the city. Should students have questions specifically about their outstanding fees or the debt relief program, they can contact the Bursar’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the Free City College Program please click here or if you would like more information on how to enroll at City College of San Francisco, please visit us on the web: https://www.ccsf.edu/apply-ccsf