Four East Bay community colleges continue free tuition for spring semester

All four colleges within the Peralta Community College District will waive tuition and fees for a second straight semester to relieve some financial strain on students, the district announced.

The school network's "Spring is Free" initiative builds on its "Fall is Free" campaign that helped boost enrollment after the coronavirus pandemic.

The district will use funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund to cover the tuition costs at the four colleges: Laney College, Merritt College, Berkeley City College, and the College of Alameda.

"Our fall efforts in this arena were a great success, as students, particularly those from historically underserved communities, need all the help we can give them while they get an education that will build their earning power and enrich their lives," said Laney College President Dr. Rudy Besikof. 

Laney College said it noticed a 15% increase in student enrollment for the fall. 

Tuition costs for the spring semester are only covered for California residents.

In addition to the fee waiver, each of the colleges are offering its own perks.

At Laney College, students who complete the FAFSA or Dream Act can get free lunch, textbooks, and a Chromebook.

The College of Alameda is offering a $500 grant to students. The grant can be used for books, supplies, or other expenses.

Merritt College is offering a "Six for Six" incentive, which includes a $600 grant, for students who enroll in six units and complete the FAFSA and Student Education Plan.