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New bill could streamline tuition waiver for West Valley College students - Mercury News

Legislation could go into effect next January for community college district

Source: The Mercury News

Students in the West Valley Mission Community College District could see their tuition automatically waived starting Jan. 1, 2025.

State Assemblymember Marc Berman introduced AB 3158 on Friday, which would streamline the district’s tuition waiver program. Berman’s Assembly district includes Saratoga, where West Valley College is located, and Campbell.

The community college district currently uses funds from local property taxes to cover the cost of local students’ tuition. But getting the waiver involves a “complicated” process of filing the appropriate paperwork, Berman said, and this legislation would help speed up that process.

“It’s awesome that the community college district is getting creative and finding ways that they can support their students, and if there’s state policies that get in the way of that, then we should remove those, and that’s exactly what this bill is trying to do,” Berman said.

If the bill becomes law, Berman said, it would sunset in July 2030 unless state lawmakers choose to extend it. The bill is sponsored by the community college district and co-authored by state Sen. Josh Becker and state Assemblymembers Evan Low and Gail Pellerin.

Anyone interested in registering for classes who lives in the district’s service area – Alviso, Campbell, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, Saratoga and parts of San Jose and Sunnyvale – would qualify for the tuition waiver, according to the district’s website.

The bill “gives our local community college district the authority to put significant financial resources back into students’ pockets, ensuring they don’t have to choose between taking the extra class they need or affording groceries or rent,” Berman said in a press release.


The San Mateo Community College District has a similar tuition waiver program that offers waived fees on different levels depending on applicants’ residence status and financial situation.


Bay Area News Group

February 18, 2024 

New bill could streamline tuition waiver for West Valley, Mission Community College students (