SJCC has made the right call

Free semester is a start to free years


Illustration by Juan Cortez / Times Staff

SJCC students received multiple emails from the district announcing free tuition in spring 2022 for all California residents who sign up for at least six credits.

Debating about going back to college can be a headache and for many finances are a large reason why they will not go back.

In a wonderful way, San Jose City College just announced it is offering free tuition for spring 2022.

The school states as long as the student is a California citizen, and is willing to enroll in at least six classes, the semester will be completely paid for by the school.

This is an opportunity to be taken advantage of by all; high school students who will take their first semester or those who, for any reason, had to put a hold on their academic goals.

The steps to qualify for the free semester, which can be found on the college website, are very easy and clear.

SJCC is completely right to offer this free semester to students. It will help those who are struggling to get by to achieve the education they deserve.

In California alone, more than 260,000 fewer students have enrolled in the fall 2020 semester compared to the year before, according to EdSource website, a nonprofit organization reporting on education challenges.

EdSource also mentioned that many students were adamant to enroll in community college because of financial burdens the pandemic had weighed on their families and themselves.

San Jose has reached a record high 13.8% unemployment rate during April 2020, according to the Reno Gazette Journal, an online news source.

That is about 139,827 people who lost their jobs in San Jose due to the pandemic.

It is remarkable and respectable that a school prioritizes spreading education to as many as possible, even during hard times such as these, rather than just hunting for money.

But those opposing the free semester argue about who is going to pay for this education. Someone has to pay the teachers, right?

Well the school has already explained to students where the money to pay for this is coming from, and that would be from the “Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), designated for higher education institutions to address the immediate and urgent impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on students and colleges.”

This truly is the perfect proposal. People who are money hungry will still get their money and people who prioritize education will finally know anyone will be able to receive it; despite being able to “not afford it.”

Knowledge is not something to be bought but something to be spread. Thanks to SJCC, that will happen in spring 2022.