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Calif. lawmakers push for free community college tuition for full-time students

By ABC10 Sacramento

California lawmakers are pushing to make tuition free for Community College students looking to earn an associate's degree.

Introduced on the first day of the new legislative session, Assembly Bill 2 would replace and expand its predecessor, AB19, which went into effect this year.

It offered free tuition for first-year, full-time students at any of the state's 115 community colleges.

"Too many California college students find themselves burdened with crippling college debt," said Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), "making it difficult for them to buy a home, raise a family and contribute to our economy. Free community college would good for our students and well as for our economy.”

Lawmakers say the bill would make "an Associate's Degree in California effectively become free."

The bill's predecessor went into effect this semester, but few of the state's community college students who are considered full-time.

According to state data, only about 72 percent of students are considered part-time, and more than 80 percent of students take longer than two years to earn an associate's degree. Neither would qualify for AB2's tuition free education.