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SBCC Promise numbers expected to double in size for Fall 2017

ZACHARY PATTERSON, Channels Staff

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The SBCC Promise is well on its way to breaking financial barriers for local high schools just one year after it’s conception.

The promise launched just over a year ago and expects to double its size of students from roughly 750 to over 1,500.

“[The SBCC Promise] is the most ambitious program of its kind,” said Chief Executive Officer Geoff Green.

The program covers the cost of education for local high school graduates that are full-time students at the college.

The SBCC Foundation states their goal on the SBCC Promise website to “use privately raised funds to cover all enrollment and required fees, required books, and required supplies in an effort to remove economic barriers, making our community’s college fully accessible to all local students.”

The promise covers all local high school graduates and the children of City College employees, giving them two full years of free education. Fees, tuition, books, and supplies are given to full-time students without charge.

Arina Tanacheva, 19, was born in Moscow, Russia. Her family won a green card lottery and moved to Santa Barbara where she attended Santa Barbara High School for two years.

Tanacheva explained that she couldn’t afford to get a higher education but heard about the promise from her counselor her senior year.

“It was my last hope to get an education in America,” Tanacheva said. “It pays for everything! In the last year I’ve saved over $500 in textbooks alone.”

The program is mutually beneficial, giving local high school graduates more incentive to attend the local City College, while boosting the amount of enrolled students.

“I had friends from high school that didn’t plan on going to college, but who can turn down a free education?” Tanacheva said.

The number of students enrolled in the program support her statement with the amount of students being fairly consistent over the last year.
In the Fall 2016 semester, there were 756 students taking an average of 13.4 units. The following semester there were 749 students with a 13.6 unit average.

Since then, the numbers for both semesters of this past summer have been released.

The Summer Session I had 275 students enrolled with average of 4.23 units and the second session had 255 students taking an average of 4.43 units.

The numbers show a trend of consistency proven by Tanacheva and her friends who plan to stay in the program for the full two years.

It has been one year since the Promise Program started, and its goals are within reach for those who are willing.

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SBCC Promise numbers expected to double in size for Fall 2017