Many students at dozens of California colleges and universities will have their tuition covered by a state program starting in August.
The Californians For All College Corps will cover $10,000 in tuition for students who complete 450 hours of community service, according to CNBC. During the fall semester of 2022, 6,500 students from 45 public schools will benefit from this measure.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and services,” Governor Gavin Newsom said. “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians from diverse backgrounds with rewarding service opportunities across the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the country.
Students can volunteer for issues related to climate action, K-12 education, and COVID-19 recovery for one year under the program. The effort also aims to address student debt. California is home to nearly four million of the nation’s 43 million student borrowers.
The opportunity comes after President Joe Biden proposed creating a program that provides $10,000 in debt relief for undergraduate or graduate students for each year of national community service, up to five years, according to CNBC.
Biden’s proposed program was not implemented in the first year of his administration, but he used executive power to make changes to the civil service loan forgiveness program. It is estimated that the changes will bring more than 550,000 borrowers closer to an average of 23 loan forgiveness payments and make 22,000 borrowers immediately eligible for cancellation.
The Biden administration has approved about $9.5 billion in student loan relief. That’s a large but relatively small percentage of the more than $1.7 trillion in student loans that Americans collectively still owe.