Two out of every three San Joaquin Delta College students pay zero tuition.In an era of big college debt, a Delta College education makes more sense than ever.

So let’s get started!

There are two ways to qualify for free tuition:

  • You must be a first-time, full-time college student (taking at least 12 units) or
  • You must meet certain income criteria.

If you fit into one of those two categories, congratulations! You qualify! Please note that you must fill out a FAFSA or California Dream Act application (for non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents) to get free tuition.

Filling out the FAFSA or CA Dream Act Forms


Still have questions? Read on:
How do I apply for free college?

Just apply to Delta College and enroll in classes like you normally would. Make sure you fill out a FAFSA or California Dream Act application (for non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents). If you complete your paperwork and you fit into at least one of the two categories listed above, you will automatically receive free tuition.

Is this only for lower-income students?

Any first-time, full-time college student qualifies for free tuition regardless of income. If you take fewer than 12 units, or if you’ve been enrolled at any college in the past, you will only receive free tuition if you meet certain income criteria.

Do I have to be a California resident?

No. Non-residents who are eligible for the AB 540 exemption are eligible for free tuition.

How much will I save?

A student taking 12 units pays $552 per semester in tuition. So, stretched across two years, you could save more than $2,200. Your savings will be even greater if you take 15 units, and even greater than that if you sign up for summer courses.

Why are there two separate ways to qualify for free tuition?

There are actually two separate programs! The fee waiver for first-time, full-time college students is relatively new. California lawmakers approved it in 2017. We refer to this program by the bill number that made it law, Assembly Bill 19 or “AB 19.”

The fee waiver based on income has existed for decades in California. Formerly known as the Board of Governors or “BOG” Waiver, this program is now called the California College Promise Grant. To see if you qualify for the Promise Grant based on your household size and income, click here.

Again, all you have to do is qualify for one of these two programs in order to have your tuition fees waived.

For how long can I receive free tuition?

Free tuition for first-time, full-time students is good for two years. There is no limit to the amount of time students can receive the income-based waiver

I qualify for one of these programs, but when I look at my student records it claims I owe money. What’s the problem?

No problem at all! Financial aid specialists must process your paperwork before your tuition fees can be waived. If you wait a little longer, your fees should go away. You will not be charged a penalty. If you prefer, you can also pay your fees upfront and be reimbursed.

So if I get free tuition, does that mean college itself is completely free?

Not entirely. There are other expenses to consider, such as textbooks and of course the cost of living. The good news is you may qualify for other forms of financial aid to assist you with those other needs. That’s why it’s so important that you fill out the FAFSA or California Dream Act applications! We at Delta College want you to receive all of the aid that you could potentially qualify for. Tip: You can also use financial aid to purchase a laptop at the bookstore, or check out a loaner laptop to support your remote coursework and studies.

Where can I go to get more help?

Visit our Financial Aid page and chat with a representative during business hours. Habla español.