CHICO, Calif. – Tuition assistance for students is ongoing at 45 California colleges and universities.
The program is called Californians for All College Corps and aims to “help create debt-free college pathways for low-income students who are committed to service,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.
The program will provide students with up to $10,000 if they complete just 450 hours of volunteer work during the school year. This represents approximately 15 volunteer hours per week.
“It really lowers the cost of education for them and gives them real-world skills to get ahead,” said Tim Johnson, associate vice president of student services at Shasta College.
California is investing about $146 million in the program, with funds coming from the state budget passed last year.
Students will receive $7,000 for living expenses plus a $3,000 scholarship.
“Some students need help with books, some need help with equipment, some need help with specialized training, and some need to use it for their loans,” Emilyn Sheffield said. , a professor in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management.
Area colleges like Chico State and Shasta College will offer this program to students.
Chico State will have 125 scholarships available and Shasta College will have 100.
Students currently enrolled at Butte College and transferring to Chico State for the 2022-2023 academic year will also be eligible to apply for one of 125 Chico State scholarships.
Chico State students told Action News Now that they are not only excited about the monetary aid, but also about gaining volunteer experience.
“The idea is not just for the money, but also to help people,” said Bounleuth Xayasith, a student from Chico State.
Hours must be completed in areas such as K-12 education, COVID-19 recovery, and climate action.
“It gives us the opportunity to work with people on the ground who work to build communities and who work every day to solve community problems,” Sheffield said.
Students also see the benefit of getting involved.
“Especially in the areas of COVID-19 and climate change,” said Wyatt Taylor, a student from Chico State. “Those are pretty fundamental things for our society right now.”
“Helping the younger generation will also be a great benefit for everyone,” Xayasith said.
Students will be able to begin applying this spring and will cover college fees for 6,500 students beginning in the fall 2022 semester.
“Even if people aren’t in debt right now, $10,000 would help a lot,” Taylor told Action News Now.
Participating schools are currently working in partnership with local community organizations where students can volunteer.
Currently, students can click here to see the full list of participating schools and sign up to receive program notifications.