Assembly Member Santiago Holds Free Community College Enrollment Event Press Conference with Community Partners

For immediate release:

(Los Angeles, CA) Today, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) teamed up with the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) and Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center to host a Debt-Free College Enrollment Fair and a press conference. The inclusion of AB 2266 (Santiago) in the FY 2022-23 State Budget was celebrated, as well as the “Free Community College For All” bill which extends the LA College Promise program, allowing all returning full-time students to community colleges completely debt-free (attendees who qualify will also receive free bus passes and laptops). Attendees received help filling out their FAFSA and California Dream Act applications to see if they are eligible to enroll in community college for free.

To view footage of the press conference, click here. 

Press conference photo

“It is truly special seeing the program we have all worked so hard becoming a reality,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. “Expanding free community college will dramatically increase access to education for underserved students, and will help our state create a more equitable and dynamic economy.”

“Higher education continues to be the greatest lever for economic and social mobility, especially for first-generation and lower-income college attendees,” said LACCD Chancellor Francisco C. Rodriguez, Ph.D. “AB 2266 opens the door to numerous Californians with some college credit, but with no degree or certificate so essential to compete in this economy. This forward-looking initiative extends the benefits from the very successful College Promise Program model to all full-time, returning students, improving access, equity, and college completion.”

“We are proud to support Assembly Member Santiago, LACCD and ELAC as we sign up folks for free community college,” said Joe Diaz of Boyle Heights Technology Youth Center (BHTYC). “At BHTYC, we’re ready to provide opportunity and help expand access to higher education.”

“This is a historic moment for our district, as the extension of LA College Promise helps us live up to our ideals of ensuring every Angeleno has access to quality education,” said LACCD Board President Gabriel Buelna, Ph.D. “The District’s hard work advocating for equity has led us to this point, where we can provide a world-class education without making students take on increasingly expensive debt.”

"ELAC is grateful to Assemblymember Santiago and his leadership with helping to give access to education to all with the college promise bill. Our students have benefited greatly from college promise and have used the program to help propel themselves to achieve their education goals" said ELAC President Alberto Roman.

Expanding free community college will encourage more students to attend community college at a time when enrollment is decreasing. In addition to community college, however, it is imperative to make college more affordable so that California has a more educated workforce. This plan is a major step toward a debt-free college for all.

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.