This City is Giving High School Grads Up to $1,000/Year to Go to College

High angle shot of a group of students studying in a coffee shop
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It seems as though the mayor of Stockton, California, shares The Penny Hoarder’s mission of wanting to put more money in people’s pockets.

Last October, we wrote about Mayor Michael Tubbs’ desire to start a universal basic income experiment in his city.

Now, he has announced that the city will give out college scholarships for high seniors to help them afford the costs of attending college.

The Stockton Scholars program will go into effect for the 2019-20 school year. High school seniors who graduate from the Stockton Unified School District will be awarded $1,000 a year if they’re going to attend a four-year public college or $500 a year for a two-year school.

Tuition varies between schools, but to give an example, it costs $1,288 a year to enroll at San Joaquin Delta College, a community college in Stockton. Tuition at one of the four-year schools that are part of the California State University system will be $5,970 a year for the 2018-19 school year.

Last fall, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law granting all state residents free tuition for the first year of community college, but it is contingent upon the state finding room in its budget to fund it.

The Stockton Scholars program is already funded for the next decade with an initial $20 million donation from the California Community Foundation. The program’s goal is to raise $100 million to continue serving future college students.

The program’s requirements aren’t set in stone yet, but tentatively, students must:

  • Have lived in Stockton for the past four years
  • Graduate from an eligible school with a GPA of at least 2.0
  • Complete the FAFSA application
  • Apply for at least two other scholarships or grants

The application period will open this fall for students in the class of 2019.

Though this scholarship program is limited to this one California city, we hope to see other cities and school districts launching similar initiatives.

After all, college is an expensive investment, and students can use all the help they can get.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

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