Many students from several dozen California colleges and universities will have tuition costs covered by a state program starting in August.
The “Californians For All College Corps” will cover $10,000 of tuition costs for students who do 450 hours of community service, according to CNBC. During the fall semester 2022, 6,500 students from 45 state schools will benefit from this measure.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and service,” said Gov. Gavin Newsom. “The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps advances these priorities by connecting Californians of different backgrounds with enriching service opportunities throughout the state while making college more affordable for our state’s future leaders. We hope the Corps will be replicated across the nation.”
Students can volunteer for issues related to climate action, K-12 education and COVID-19 recovery for one year through the program. The effort also aims to address student debt. California is home to nearly four million of the country’s 43 million student loan borrowers.
This opportunity comes after President Joe Biden proposed creating a program that offers $10,000 of undergraduate or graduate student debt relief for every year of national community service, up to five years, according to CNBC.
Biden’s proposed program wasn’t implemented during the first year of his administration, but he used executive authority to make changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The changes are estimated to bring over 550,000 borrowers an average of 23 payments closer to loan forgiveness and make 22,000 borrowers immediately entitled to the cancellation.
The Biden administration has approved about $9.5 billion of student loan relief. That’s a significant but relatively small percentage of the over $1.7 trillion worth of student loans that Americans still collectively owe.