Laney College is offering students free tuition this fall


Think of it as a kind of gift, but of monumental proportions. For thousands of Laney College students trying to get ahead, despite their personal financial situation and the debt needed to get an education, these Laney Eagles now have the tools to soar on Monday.

Athletes who arrive early are glad they chose Laney College for the fall term. “I honestly didn’t know if that was true,” Demontre Thomas said.

FILE ART – Peralta Community College District

When classes start Monday at Laney College, fall is free. Registered students will be charged nada, zip, zero for fees and tuition.

“My dad is really happy. He doesn’t have to worry about the financial part of school right now, so, I mean, it’s just a blessing,” Thomas said. Coach John Beam agrees. “We should want people to be educated because it makes society better,” Coach Beam said.

But it’s much better. Thanks to a federal grant, students will also receive free textbooks, lunch, weekly produce boxes, a bus and passes.

“A lot of us commute, so it’s easier for us to get to school,” said sophomore Gianni Galaviz. And take advantage: they have free Wi-Fi and Chromebooks. “Guys are sitting on their phones trying to do a lesson, and English paper on their phone. Now they have a Chromebook,” the coach said.

It is a gift for students, many of whom suffered financial and academic losses during the height of the pandemic.

Students can earn certificates or associate degrees; some of which guarantee admission to a California state university.

“It takes a lot of the stress off me, you know? To be able to come to a place that wants to support you, give you the things you need to come show up and focus on education,” sophomore Noah Iosefa said. .

“Junior colleges can really help you figure out what you want to do later in life and help you get to the next level in college,” said fellow student Chris Smith.

It’s for everyone – no matter their motivation, no matter their goals. The barriers have been lifted and they intend to succeed. “Travel, food and education; there should be no barriers for us and that’s great,” Coach Beam said.

“At Laney College, we believe in social justice. Unfortunately, free college all the time isn’t realistic, but we’re really going to do our best to make it work for as long as possible,” said Larena Baldazo. , responsible for public information. . “So it’s fair for everyone,” said another student.

In fact, in the face of declining enrollment, Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, and Merritt College are all offering free tuition and other incentive programs for students.


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