The SBCC Promise will be Transformational for Santa Barbara and its Students

By removing financial barriers to college for all local students, the SBCC Promise is an investment in our students, our families, our community, and our economy.

California has long been a leader in striving to make its public institutions of higher learning affordable. California community colleges are widely acknowledged for having the lowest fees of any state in the nation. Unfortunately, in an era with a growing wealth and income gap, even these low fees (not to mention books, housing and other costs), present a financial barrier to many students.

The idea of a College Promise program – which began as a single experiment in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2005 – has grown into a national movement, and the SBCC Promise is among the most ambitious.

Our system of financial aid in the United States has largely overlooked the needs of community college students, as those needs have historically been perceived to be minimal. A study released in February 2016 by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS) challenges this notion. In What Does College Really Cost for Low-Income Students across California?, TICAS researchers created a map comparing the total costs of college attendance for each of the nine undergraduate-serving campuses of the University of California and nearby California State University and community college campuses. By adding up the full cost of attendance at each institution, and then subtracting available grant and scholarship aid, the study showed that community colleges were actually the most expensive option in two thirds of the regions surveyed.

An investment in the SBCC Promise is an investment in the future of our region.


Are you wondering if you qualify for the SBCC Promise? Do you have any lingering questions? If you cannot find the answer here, please call (805) 730-4416 or email promise@sbccfoundation.org to get your questions answered.

Want to learn more about the SBCC Promise? Foundation CEO Geoff Green discusses the details on the 805 Focus with Cynder Sinclair.