Modesto Junior College (MJC) is waiving tuition and fees for all students for the spring 2022 semester, eliminating student debt and giving students who meet specific criteria up to $500 in cash and book store credits. MJC’s Free for Me campaign promises free classes and zero fees for every student registered for the spring semester.
The college is also giving $250 cash and $250 in book store credit to students who submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination and take at least six units. MJC has also eliminated any existing student debts for former or current students, opening the door for them to also take advantage of this opportunity.
All students who enroll for the spring semester are eligible for free tuition, regardless of citizenship or residency and even if they have not attended MJC recently or are taking just a few units. MJC President Dr. Santanu Bandyopadhyay said the college hopes the Free for Me campaign will reverse the negative enrollment and academic achievement trends brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since March 2020, minority and male enrollment at MJC have declined considerably and at a faster rate than other demographics. The initiative is part of a multi-pronged effort by the college to reduce barriers and increase access to education for the community, Bandyopadhyay said.
“Impact of the pandemic has hardly been uniform on our students. Underrepresented minorities, students of color and those from socio-economically challenged backgrounds have been hit much harder than others,” Bandyopadhyay said. “At the same time, as we emerge from the pandemic in a more technology-enabled society, the need for a college-educated or skilled workforce is more pronounced than ever. In short, a college education is more relevant in the context of the jobs of the future at a time when college is unaffordable for many of our potential students.”
Students who wish to participate should apply for admission to MJC, complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), California Dream Act Application (CADAA) or the California College Promise Grant (CCPG) and register for spring 2022 classes.
There are no maximum or minimum units for a student to be eligible for this program. MJC was established in 1921 and is the first California community college district.
The college boasts a Bachelor’s Degree program that is one of only 15 such programs offered at a California community college. MJC initiated the long and prestigious legacy of California community college students transferring to universities, with the first ever transfer student in 1922, when the alumnus transferred to Stanford University.
Noteworthy alumni from the college include famed director, producer and screenwriter George Lucas, major-motion picture actor Jeremy Renner, NFL Hall of Famer Gino Marchetti, Olympic athlete and actress Dot Jones, Broadway artists Jeremy Stolle and Lindsay Pearce, and more.