(NewsNation Now) — A new program in California will help students at 45 colleges and universities in the state pay for their education in exchange for completing hours of public service, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday.
The #CaliforniansForAll College Corps program aims to help create debt-free college pathways for low-income students who commit to serve,” the governor’s office said, according to NewsNation affiliate station KTLA.
Up to 6,500 college students over two academic years will be provided with service opportunities in “critical issue areas” such as climate action, K-12 education and COVID-19 recovery, a press release from the governor’s office said. Students who complete one year of service will receive $10,000, which is broken down to a $7,000 stipend and $3,000 education award, as well as academic credit, according to the program’s website.
Undergraduate students at any of the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps’ partner campuses can apply, although the website says the program’s recruitment strategy is focusing on low-income students and students who are undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Schools such as California State and the University of California campuses are included among the institutions participating in the program.
“California is a world leader in both higher education and service,” Newsom said. “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.”
Nearly 4 million Californians owe $147 billion in student debt, the governor’s office said.
Likening the #CaliforniansForAll College Corps to the GI Bill, which gave veterans money for higher education, Josh Fryday, the state’s chief service officer, said in a tweet that “if you are willing to serve, we will help you pay for college.”
“Providing more pathways to a debt-free degree while empowering students to pursue service-oriented career paths is a reflection of our shared commitment to access, affordability, and public service,” University of California President Michael V. Drake said.