With the support of the Chancellor’s Office, College of the Redwoods has expanded the College Access Program (CAP), which waives enrollment fees for first-time, full-time students into a second, consecutive year. This means that full-time students can now receive a two-year Associate’s Degree
The extension of the CAP program enhances the already robust financial aid packages offered through the college. Many prospective students and parents are not aware of the multiple funding streams available to students who wish to pursue degrees at CR, but in 2018, 95% of students who filled out the FAFSA/Dream Act application attended the college tuition-free through waivers, grants and scholarships.
CR student, Randi Sin, is working on her general studies degree requirements and is hoping to get into the CR Nursing Program. Through a combination of the California Promise Grant, Pell Grant, Cal Grant B, the Federal SEO Grant, and the CARE Program grant for single parents, she pays nothing out of pocket to attend CR.
When asked how helpful these programs have been to her she says, “without them, I wouldn’t be going to school, because I couldn’t afford it. I have three kids, so without financial aid I would have to get a full-time job and wouldn’t be able to finish my degree…with financial aid, it costs me nothing. Everything is covered. It’s a big help.”
In addition to being financially smart, starting college at CR is academically smart as well. Data shows that students who spend two years at CR, then transfer to Humboldt State are 12% more likely to graduate after four years than those who went straight to HSU after high school.
CR President Dr. Keith Flamer states, “I am excited that College of the Redwoods is able to provide an unprecedented opportunity for our students to attend a high-quality, higher education institution tuition-free. With College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University right here, I am so pleased that students have so many low cost ways to further their education after high school without leaving the community.”
For students not looking to transfer but instead wishing to improve their employment opportunities, CR is equally beneficial. A survey of 193 Career and Technical Education alumni found a median wage gain of $8.25 per hour after completing training at CR. That’s a 55% gain in income.
Dr. Flamer continues, “We are not only encouraging more students to attend college, we are also focusing institutional resources on maintaining academic program quality and supporting students in the completion of their educational goal—whether it’s to transfer to a university or improve their career opportunities.”
With the extension of the CAP program and the possibility of a free, two-year degree, CR is an even better head start towards a four-year institution or a rewarding career. Students who are eligible for the second year of the CAP program but have already paid tuition fees can request a refund through the CR business office. For more information, see redwoods.edu/collegeaccess or call a financial aid specialist at 707-476-4182.
Photo: CR student Randi Sin.