San Jose promise Program helps defray expenses for first-year college students

Program offers benefits such as VTA passes, tuition free for two years and textbooks


The San Jose Promise program launched in 2017 at Evergreen Valley College and San Jose City College with approximately 500 students, and within the years the program has expanded to about 1,000 students.

Once you are in the program you make a promise to yourself and to the program to meet the requirements such as meeting the grade point average and meeting with your counselor at least a few times a semester, complete FAFSA or California Dream Act application, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 each semester that you are enrolled in and attend to required orientations meetings.

“Instead of having to worry about my cost for school and books, I was able to get them for free by keeping my word that I would get good grades, always attend school and counseling appointments,” said Arrianna Garcia, 20, criminal justice major.

San Jose Promise has helped students financially and academically. According to the programs brochure, a student saves approximately $5,500 on tuition, transportation and textbooks.

In order to qualify for the Promise Program, you have to be a first-year first-generation college student or a low income student. Apply online at