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San Francisco to become first city to offer free college to all residents

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SAN FRANCISCO — It’s a first in the nation — free higher education for all.

San Francisco is set to offer free tuition this fall to all residents who attend City College.

“To california residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free,” said San Francisco mayor Ed Lee.

The city will guarantee nearly $5.4 million a year to City College to pay for the tuition of students who reside in San Francisco regardless of their income.

In order to qualify as a resident, a student must live in the city for at least a year and one day. They can either be part-time or full-time students.

The money will come from an increase in the real estate transfer tax for commercial and residential properties valued at more than $5 million.

About 30,000 students are expected to benefit from the funds.

“Making City College free is going to provide greater opportunities for more San Franciscans to enter into the middle class and more San Franciscans to stay in the middle class if they currently are,” said city supervisor Jane Kim.

According to the student expense budget for City College, textbooks and supplies represent about $17,000 a year for a full-time students, that’s not including transportation.

Some of the money announced today will go to help offset those costs. Full-time students who receive financial aid will receive an extra $500.