In its second year, the Palomar Promise doubles the number of local high school graduates receiving free tuition and textbook assistance in their first year of college.

Pictured above: Palomar College sophomore Elijah Dierking, 19, attended his first year of classes for free under the Palomar Promise.

SAN MARCOS — As students returned to Palomar for the fall semester on Monday, more than 1,500 first-time college students were enrolled in the Palomar Promise, double the number who received free tuition and textbook assistance in the program last year.

“We’re thrilled to be serving twice as many Promise students in 2018-19 as last year,” said Palomar College Superintendent/President Dr. Joi Lin Blake. “It’s so important to get our first-year students off to a strong start at Palomar, and we know that serving them well is going to strengthen our region in the years to come.”

In October 2017, Governor Brown signed California Assembly Bill (AB) 19, creating the California College Promise. Through funding from AB 19, the Promise represents the first time since California community colleges instituted registration fees in 1985 that eligible first-time students will no longer pay tuition regardless of their economic status.

The Palomar Promise program is designed to increase college-going rates of high school graduates by providing free community college access. Through a package of free financial resources and academic support services, the college plans to serve more than 1,500 freshman in the program. In addition, the college promises to assist students to enroll in college, to stay on track to complete their career or academic goals and/or to transfer to a four-year college or university of their choice.

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Media contacts:

Laura Gropen, Public Affairs,, 760-744-1150 x2152

Tom Pfingsten, Public Affairs,, 760-744-1150 x2960