Success: City Will Be First in the Country to Provide Free Community College

Target: Ed Lee, San Francisco Mayor

Goal: Applaud that San Francisco will provide free community college for all students.

San Francisco will be the first city in the U.S. to provide free community college for all students regardless of income, thanks in part to petitions like ForceChange’s Provide Free Community College for All Students. Applaud this victory toward providing educational opportunities for low-income students.

California residents who live in San Francisco will now have access to free community college, allowing students who may normally not be able to afford school to attend without financial burden. It’s estimated that 30,000 students will benefit, with the tuition money coming from an increase in the real estate transfer tax for properties valued at over $5 million.

Residents can be either part-time or full-time students, but must live in San Francisco for at least a year and a day to qualify for free tuition.

The majority of other developed countries offer free or reduced public education in order to ensure equal opportunity for all. San Francisco’s decision is a step in the right direction toward empowering low-income and minority students with the same opportunities as their more fortunate peers. Applaud this historic decision that will help students in need.


Dear Mayor Lee,

I am writing to praise that your city will become the first in the country to provide free community college for all students. The free public education movement has gained popularity because we as citizens believe education must be a right for all, not just the privileged.

This decision will allow low-income and minority students who would have otherwise been barred from getting an education to achieve things that were previously out of their reach for financial reasons. Thank you for stepping up for your community and providing this opportunity.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: COD Newsroom


  1. So glad to hear this. Hope this catches on in other areas of the country as well.

  2. The problem with MOST community colleges (there may be exceptions to this) is that they are required to take ANYONE who applies.
    So, people who are NOT ready for college, not remotely ready, slow down the classes by needing extra help… not being able to know how to write a term paper, or do higher math, or even read a book with full understanding.

    THIS hurts everyone in the community college system…..and the outcome is, that even people who graduate from community college with high grades, find it HARD to get places in the University systems’ second two years. The universities prefer to take their own students of course, and secondly, they know the community college students are GENERALLY not up to the standards expected in junior and senior university classes. Often community college graduates can’t get into the
    “majors” they would like, and must settle for whatever they can be accepted in.

    If community colleges would have to have requirements, either tests, grades, or a combination of the two, as most four year colleges require for admissions, they would help everyone who for whatever reason wants to or has to attend community college.

    • City College of San Francisco had no tuition when I attended starting in the fall of 1954. I attended a high school that taught trades, college prep courses, and physical education. I signed up for college prep and took Algebra,Geometry,Physics,Trigonometry, Spanish and electives and my major was engineering and Geology. I had to take two years of Calculus,Subject A English and physical education. I was graduated from CCSF with my AA degree. At that time Berkeley required Subject A English, a foreign language and they had an entrance exam to enroll as a freshman. I applied and was accepted at UC Berkeley without question for my junior and senior years and was graduated with a BS and I was on the dean’s list my senior year. At that time, Cal had no tuition either until Saint Raygun became governor in 1967 and changed all that by cutting the college budgets. He was once heard remarking to one of his aides (Why should I pay for someone’s college education}.
      I applaud the City of San Francisco. Perhaps community colleges should have an entrance exam. Even with my background, when I attended Cal, I observed a lot of perpetual students who were going for various reasons including avoiding the military draft which was in full force at that time. I had four deferments but when I was graduated in 1959 I did the honorable thing and enlisted in the Army for three years. I never looked back and never regretted that move. I was proud to serve.

  3. Rosslyn Osborne says:

    “…Endeavour to rectify the conduct of men, and seek to excel the whole world in moral character. While the children are yet in their infancy feed them from the breast of heavenly grace, foster them in the cradle of all excellence, rear them in the embrace of bounty. Give them the advantage of every useful kind of knowledge. Let them share in every new and rare and wondrous craft and art. Bring them up to work and strive, and accustom them to hardship. Teach them to dedicate their lives to matters of great import, and inspire them to undertake studies that will benefit mankind” Baha’i Faith Writings

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