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Spring is Free at the Peralta Community College District

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California Residents who apply for financial aid and take a minimum of 6 credits can attend Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College, and Merritt College for free in the Spring 2024 semester.

OAKLAND, Calif., December 7, 2023 – The Peralta Community College District (PCCD) is excited to announce that “Spring is Free in 2024” at all four Peralta Colleges: Berkeley City College (BCC), College of Alameda (COA), Laney College, and Merritt College. This means that California residents who enroll in a minimum of 6 course credits and who submit a financial aid application (either the Federal FAFSA or the California Dream Act application) will have their tuition and fees waived for the spring 2024 semester.


“We are thrilled to offer this opportunity to California residents who are looking to start or continue their education,” said Dr. Jannett N. Jackson, Interim Chancellor of the Peralta Community College District. “We know that the cost of college can be a barrier for many students, and we hope that this program will make it easier for more people to access the high-quality education that Peralta Colleges offer.”

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Berkeley City College President Dr. Denise Richardson agrees, as she sees more students reaching their final educational destination with the initiative. “We are committed to making sure that everyone has the opportunity to achieve their educational goals. This program is a tremendous opportunity for students to begin or continue getting a high-quality education without worrying about the cost.”

1080x1080 - COA Spring is Free

To be eligible for the “Spring is Free in 2024” program, students must be California residents and enroll in a minimum of 6 course credits. Students can apply to one of the colleges as their main campus but can enroll in classes at any of the four colleges (not all 6 credits need to be from the same college). In fact, over 40% of students take classes at two or more of the Peralta Colleges. Students can visit https://home.peralta.edu/enroll to begin the application and enrollment process.

1080x1080 - Laney Spring is Free

The Free College initiative has also served to take some of the pressures of daily life away and increasing students’ focus on their studies, a notion in which College of Alameda President, Dr. Diana Bajrami, sees value. “We are delighted to offer free classes again at College of Alameda this spring semester.  Free classes will support our returning students in achieving their higher education goals and also make the decision to attend college more stress-free for new students just starting their college education as we know that Peralta Colleges can help students reach their full potential and open doors for a brighter future.”

1080x1080 - Merritt Spring is Free

“We are proud to continue the Free College initiative in Peralta given the tremendous community response,” added Dr. Rudy Besikof, President of Laney College. “Raising FAFSA awareness has been important, but now more than ever, this is a time for students to complete a Student Education Plan that will see them through to graduating and completing their goals.”


“We are committed to making Merritt College an affordable option for all students,” said Dr. David M. Johnson, President of Merritt College. “This program is a great way to make that happen, and expose students to the outstanding degree, certificate, and transfer programs available at Merritt College and across the district.”

This is now the fourth consecutive semester that PCCD has waived fees for students. Previous “Fall is Free” (in 2022 and 2023) and “Spring is Free” (in 2023) campaigns have resulted in more than a 10% increase in student enrollments with strong growth particularly in underserved communities, including Hispanic, African American, Asian, and Arab American students.

Funding for the “Spring is Free in 2024” program comes from the California COVID block grant. The grant is intended to help bring students back to school after the pandemic.

“We are grateful for the support of the state of California for this program,” said Dr. Jackson. “This funding will allow us to make a real difference in the lives of our students.”

The Spring 2024 semester begins on Monday, January 22, 2024. Enroll now at https://home.peralta.edu/enroll to save your seat as classes are filling up quickly. 

Tags: Merritt College, College of Alameda, Laney College, Berkeley City College, Spring is Free


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