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Seattle program offers students 2 years of free tuition

December 22, 2019 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Seniors at Seattle’s public high schools are taking advantage of a program allowing them to apply for free tuition at community colleges.

More than 1,000 students have already applied for Seattle Promise with weeks remaining before the Feb. 15 deadline, The Seattle Times reports.

The program offers Seattle public high school graduates two years of tuition-free education at Seattle Central, North Seattle and South Seattle community colleges.

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Only graduates of six schools were eligible to apply last year, but this year all of the city’s high school seniors are eligible to apply regardless of family income.

Every student who fills out an application, completes financial-aid forms and attends orientation sessions qualifies for two years of full tuition or up to 90 course credits.

Seattle Promise staff travel to schools to give presentations and help students apply.

Once enrolled, program staff assist with class registration and retention specialists help students stay on track, officials said.

Staff also assist with federal and state financial-aid applications. The forms determine if students qualify for government aid and Seattle Promise funds the remainder from the city’s 2018 education levy.

Most students will still pay for books, transportation and living expenses, but they will save more than $9,900 in tuition costs, officials said.