27 promise students are photographed as a group outsitde in the Mesa Quad.

San Diego Promise students at San Diego Mesa College. (SDCCD photo)

San Diego Promise enrollment reaches all-time high at SDCCD

August 30, 2022 | San Diego Community College District

The San Diego Community College District saw record-breaking interest in the San Diego Promise with 2,349 students enrolling in the program for fall 2022, which began on August 22. The new cohort joins 1,400 peers entering their second year of the two-year program.

This year’s enrollment saw an extra boost after the initial deadline of August 15 was extended by a week. In total, the SDCCD received 4,487 applications this fall – also a program record. Students who sign a contract to enroll in the San Diego Promise receive up to two years of free tuition and fees toward San Diego City, Mesa, or Miramar colleges.

Students accepted into the San Diego Promise must attend an orientation, sign a Promise contract, maintain a 2.0 college GPA, meet with a counselor each semester, and complete a comprehensive education plan. Along with free tuition and book grants, other benefits of the San Diego Promise program include individualized counseling and guidance support, access to peer mentors, and coverage of student health fees.

Historically, the San Diego Promise was limited to first-time full-time college students. Through private funding, the San Diego Promise has provided additional pathways for special populations including foster youth, veterans, formerly incarcerated, undocumented students, adult learners transitioning from the San Diego College of Continuing Education to one of the district’s credit-colleges, and those who could not attend full-time due to unique circumstances.

“We know that the Promise starts way before enrollment,” said Luke Menchaca, acting dean of Outreach and Student Affairs. “During the information phase, we’re out in the community informing parents, students, and program services about what this amazing program has to offer.”

Menchaca says enrollment in the San Diego Promise will re-open October 3 for high school students who graduate in December and who plan to enroll at City, Mesa, or Miramar for the spring 2023 semester. Fall 2023 enrollment will begin January 9, 2023.

Students must be a California resident or AB 540 (nonresident tuition exemption) eligible, complete a 2021-2022 FAFSA or California Dream Act application, and enroll and complete a minimum of 12 units each semester to meet eligibility requirements. 

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