The Mesa College Promise Program will make Mesa Community College (MCC) tuition free for Mesa residents according to Mesa Mayor John Giles at the State of the City breakfast on Feb. 4.
“The Mesa College Promise means free tuition at community college for eligible students graduating from local high schools,” Giles said during his State of the City speech.
In an interview with KTAR, Giles added it won’t require a tax increase. He said the estimated $100,000 would come from the city’s general funds. The cost would be split between the city and local employees who see the program as an investment in future employees.
“They’re going to be on the committee that will provide oversight and recruit students,” Giles said to ABC15. “And they’ll also bring their checkbooks when they come to those meetings.“
“I am thrilled about the partnership between MCC and the city of Mesa,” MCC Interim President Lori Berquam said. She expressed excitement especially over local businesses and their involvement in the program.
“The first and most highest priority is that they [MCC students] fill out the FAFSA.” Berquam said. Berquam said this step determines if a student can be a part of the program based on the scholarships they’re awarded.
“Is it like a scholarship?” MCC student Mohammed Aldossery asked. “Some people, they don’t have the grades, but at the same time they want to enter college.” He said it would be a good idea to keep those students in mind. While the program in its initial stages has been announced, it does not yet specify eligibility regarding grades.
Secondary english student Matthew Koester said the program would also be a good idea, but that it shouldn’t be awarded to just anyone.
“I feel like if it’s something that’s locally in place to help enhance kids from here to get that extra motivation to learn [then it’s a good idea].” He added there should be boundaries around the funds similar to a scholarship. “Maybe not free willy-nilly.”
According to Giles, the program will be available next year.