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KPBS Midday Edition

How 'Californians For All College Corps' works

Students and faculty walk on a pathway at the UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.
Jacob Aere
Students and faculty walk on a pathway at the UC San Diego campus, Sept. 28, 2020.

A first-of-its-kind program that will help students pay for college was launched earlier this month by Governor Gavin Newsom and other state leaders. The Californians For All College Corps program is offering funding for up to 6,500 college students beginning in the fall 2022 semester. Students who are accepted into the program and complete 450 hours of service work will receive $10,000 in tuition aid. Some of the services students will be assigned to include climate action, supporting food banks and working on food insecurity, COVID-19 recovery, tutoring and more.

The initiative is being launched in partnership with 45 California colleges and universities to offer the program on their campuses, including the University of San Diego and UC San Diego.

RELATED: California College Corps offers $10,000 for tuition through service work

Josh Fryday, chief service officer of California Volunteers, joined KPBS Midday Edition to talk about how the program works.

He said the purpose of the program is to create opportunities for students to pay for college while building job skills and serving their community.

"We are saying to a new generation of Californians, if you are willing to serve your community, we are going to help you pay for college with $10,000 towards your degree," Fryday said. "That $10,000 is critical, especially for low-income students. That's the gap that PELL grant students have to come up with to pay for college every year, and they do that by either taking out loans and going into debt, and we know that student debt is crippling many of our young people across the country, or they have to work."

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Fryday said the 45 colleges and universities were chosen through a competitive selection process, and are a combination of UCs, CSUs, community colleges and private schools.

"We wanted to make sure that the universities that were participating represented a diverse part of our state, so we have representation throughout all of California, but we also wanted to find and work with schools who are committed to creating the next generation of civic-minded leaders of young people who are going to graduate with a sense of civic responsibility, and with a sense of understanding how to give back and wanting to give back."

Fryday said the schools that are participating will be selecting the students who apply. He said students can start applying this spring through their school.