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Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California

Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California

US households and students are feeling the pinch as inflation and college tuition costs keep rising. However, if you reside in California, free tuition may be an option to lower your expenses.

It can be difficult to get into some of California’s best universities, but paying for it doesn’t have to be. We’ll examine some of the Californian programs and universities that provide free tuition in this article. This is by no means an all-inclusive list.

Entrance-level students at various schools across the nation are eligible for free tuition. However, make sure to read the fine print. It can be necessary for you to be from a low-income family or to be from a specific state or area. After graduation, several schools mandate labor or service on campus.

Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California
Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California

Programs that offer free tuition are typically limited to students from low-income families. Nonetheless, other colleges, such as Stanford, also waive tuition for families with middle-class incomes.

Even though room and board are not included in the majority of free tuition programs, you can still save a good amount of money.

Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California

Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California
Free Tuition Colleges And Programs You Can Find In California

1. California College Promise Program

California’s effort to increase access to higher education is called the California Promise. Through the program, first-time college students can enroll tuition-free at any of California’s many public two-year universities.

Remember that not all two-year universities take part in this initiative. Thus, find out if you qualify for this program by contacting the institution you are considering.


  • Students who are not residents of California are categorized as “Dreamers.”
  • New student; enrolled full-time

2. University of California: Native American Opportunity Plan

All California Native American students will be able to attend any University of California (UC) for free starting in the fall of 2022. California is home to 630,00 American Indians and Alaska Natives, per the 2020 Census.


  • Enrolled in an American Indian, Alaskan Native, or Native American tribe.
  • Residency in California is required.
  • New or enrolled UC student.

3. University of California: Blue & Gold Opportunity Plan

One of the biggest public research university systems in the nation, the University of California (UC), has a tuition-free program. The Blue & Gold Opportunity Plan is what it’s known as.

The UC system comprises the following nine universities: UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Davis, and UC Merced.

You can attend a University of California (UC) college as an undergraduate for free if you live in California and your family makes no more than $80,000 per year. 55% of California students at the University of California do not pay tuition, according to the university.

Certain costs are also covered by the Blue & Gold Opportunity program. You can be eligible for more financial aid if your need for financial assistance is higher.

Read Also>> How And Where To Easily Find Free Money For College

4. Stanford University

Stanford is a highly selective university that is comparable to the Ivy League institutions. On the other hand, you might not have to pay anything if you meet the requirements and are accepted. Nothing. Nothing at all.

Your family will not be required to pay for tuition, lodging, and board, or other expenses if your income is less than $100,000, for example.

Few free tuition programs pay for both room and board; the majority merely cover tuition. This one does. However, you may only be eligible for free tuition if your family’s income is less than $150,000.

Stanford News reports that financial help awarded to students annually averages $52,000. Naturally, the amount varies based on the financial status of each family.


  • Earnings under $100,000 (free room & board); earnings under $150,000 (free tuition)
  • Accessible to accepted students who demonstrate financial need

5. USC: College Affordability Initiative

Offering tuition-free choices, the University of Southern California (USC) is another extremely competitive university in California.

Being the institution of choice for several of the high-profile defendants in the case, it was heavily featured in the admissions controversy (also known as Varsity Blues).

With 20% of first-generation students admitted to the institution in 2022, USC is also a location that is making progress in diversity.

Annually, USC grants roughly $640 million in financial help. They intend to augment financial aid at a pace that surpasses the annual tuition increases.

The US Scorecard indicates that USC students who receive financial help pay $33,000 a year on average. However, you’ll be able to attend for free if your family makes less than $80,000 a year.


  • The family must make no more than $80,000.
  • The student must submit their CSS PROFILE and FAFSA.
  • be granted admission to the university.
  • Students must meet certain eligibility standards and be either US citizens, eligible noncitizens, or undocumented individuals.

6. Soka University: Soka Opportunity Grant

For qualified applicants approved, Soka University, a private university established in 1987, offers a tuition-free curriculum. “Providing students with an educational opportunity that fosters love for humankind” is one of the university’s stated commitments (

The Soka Opportunity Grant provides tuition-free education to both domestic and overseas students, as well as dreamers whose family makes up to $60,000. You must be accepted into the BA in Liberal Arts program to take advantage of this program.


The financial aid applications for domestic students are the FAFSA, international students apply through Soka, and dreamers apply through Dream.

7. Calbright College

For all California residents, Calbright College is a free public two-year online college. The courses are designed with workforce training in mind.

Students who choose not to attend a typical college are catered to by the college. They provide workforce training and certification to students in fields like customer relationship management software, cybersecurity, and IT.


  • An inhabitant of California
  • Older than eighteen

How do you qualify for free tuition in California?

In California, the majority of free tuition programs include a financial need component. You may qualify if your family makes less than a specific amount of money. To find out if you’re eligible, you’ll need to contact the universities you’re interested in.

The limits of free tuition college

Even though several universities and states advertise their free tuition policies, many costs remain unaddressed. A select few universities, including Stanford University, pay for books, transportation, housing and board, and other expenses.

For this reason, even if you are eligible for free tuition at one of these universities, it is still vital to explore additional funding sources.

Working part-time and applying for private scholarships, those that aren’t offered by colleges are two ways you might save expenditures. Applications may be submitted far in advance of the senior year of high school.


No matter what your situation, don’t let the expense of education prevent you from enrolling. A path is always possible.

You’re among the fortunate ones if you’re from California and are eligible for any of these programs. However, you are still eligible for various forms of financial aid even if you are not eligible for a free tuition plan. For additional information, get in touch with the particular college.


Can I study in California for free?

For the first two years of their education, students who attend California community colleges are eligible for free tuition thanks to the California College Promise Program.

The cheapest university in California for international students

San Diego State University: With annual tuition for international students that includes both the base tuition and the non-resident tuition, it is among the least expensive institutions in California.

Is there any free university in the USA?

YES! There are several tuition-free universities in the USA with various student packages. One such institution is Deep Springs College in California; nevertheless, there are costs for students to attend.

Did California colleges used to be free?

During Governor Ronald Reagan’s budget cuts and proposed fee increases in the 1960s, California’s public schools and universities ceased to offer free tuition. The decline of universities offering free tuition thus started.

Cheapest States for International Students in the USA

  • Wyoming. Wyoming is a state having mountainous terrain.  
  • Indiana. Indiana is one of the top states in affordability in the USA. 
  • Missouri. It is another that is popular among international students.  
  • Alabama.
  • Kansas.


Imran Lawan

I am a professional researcher whose focus is around engaging and knowledgeable information for students.

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