SACRAMENTO, California: California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced the expansion of a pilot program for students who perform 450 hours of community service, entitled, Californians For All College Corps, which will pay for $10,000 of tuition costs at 45 California colleges and universities.
After its $146 million cost was approved as part of last year's state budget, the program can now cover college costs for 6,500 students beginning in the fall 2022 semester.
"California is a world leader in both higher education and service. 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," said Newsom.
Through the program, students can volunteer for one year in "critical issue areas," such as climate action, K-12 education and COVID-19 recovery.
Joseph I. Castro, chancellor of California State University (CSU), one of the participants of the program, said, "The CSU students who participated in the pilot program over the past year took their world-class CSU education and translated that into on-the-ground tutoring and mentoring in their communities."
The initiative also aims to address the issue of student debt in California, which has nearly 4 million of the country's 43 million student loan borrowers.
"The University of California is pleased to partner with Governor Newsom on this innovative program, which will help thousands of students pay for college, while they give back to their communities," said University of California President Michael V. Drake.
During the presidential campaign, President Joe Biden proposed creating such as program, which was not implemented during his first year in office, through an executive authority to make significant changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
The Biden Administration approved some $9.5 billion of student loan relief, which is still a relatively small percentage of the over $1.7 trillion in student loans owed by Americans.