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Feb 09, 2017 10:51 AM EST

San Francisco To Offer Free College Education To Its Residents

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San Francisco, one of the country's most expensive cities to live in, will be the first to offer tuition-free community college to all its residents, Mayor Ed Lee announced on Tuesday. The city decided to do this to ease the financial burden of education for students and also to narrow wealth inequality in the city.

According to Business Insider, they announced that the tuition for all the residents attending the City College of San Francisco will be free for at least the next two years. Lee said that the $5.4 million plan will include $500 grants to low income students of the said community college which are intended for books, transportation, school supplies, as well as health care, according to Fortune. Poor part-time students will also be receiving grants of $200.

Lee said that San Francisco has once again united around their values at this time when the less fortunate are being punished; they have taken a national lead on this issue of equality.

The plan will be taking effect in the fall and the city will be giving the college an amount of $500,000 for the implementation. It was San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim who spearheaded the initiative.

Kim said during a press conference that the step to make the city college free aims to provide greater opportunities for more San Franciscans to enter the middle class and also stay in the middle class, if they already are.

The funds that are going to be used will come from a transfer tax placed on San Francisco homes and commercial properties selling for $5 million or more. This was already approved by voters under a ballot measure last November. During a press conference, the mayor said that he hopes that this step will increase enrollment and increase federal funding.

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