College of the Canyons First-Year Promise logo

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what is first-year promise?

First-Year Promise gives students an amazing opportunity to attend College of the Canyons FREE for their first year of study. The program not only makes college affordable and accessible, it promotes student success in the critical first year. Students receive:

  • Up to 15 units of enrollment and student fees waived.
  • Vouchers for supplies, instructional material and computer lab printing.
  • A parking permit or city bus pass.
  • A $100 bookstore gift card.
  • Option to take classes using Open Educational Resources, eliminating need for costly textbooks.

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Program funding

The first 26 months of the program is funded through a $750,000 grant from the California Community College State Chancellor’s Office. College of the Canyons was one of 14 community colleges out of 41 that applied for this grant.

  • For the following 24 months, the College of the Canyons Foundation has agreed to raise $250,000 per year for two years.
  • The keystone of this fundraising initiative will be through a matching gift campaign, where every contribution will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, by the foundation. That means your donation will have double the impact!

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A solid investment

The benefits of college are real, but rising costs mean more and more students struggle to afford the cost.

  • College-educated workers produce more than half of the nation’s annual economic value.
  • California needs 1.1 million workers with bachelor’s degrees by 2030.
  • College graduates earn an average of 67 percent more than high school graduates.
  • Student loan debt in the United States totals $1.4 trillion – about $620 billion more than credit card debt.
  • Three out of four College of the Canyons students cite textbooks as a top barrier to achieving their educational goals.

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Selection Process

Candidates must be first-time, full-time college students. They must:

  • Submit an application.
  • Maintain good academic standing.
  • Attend all required orientations.
  • Complete a Federal Student Aid Application.
  • Participate in new student advisement.
  • File an educational plan.
  • Attend the Summer Bridge workshop.

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A standout college

College of the Canyons is recognized as one of the most innovative community colleges in California and the nation.

  • One of the top 15 community colleges in the country for alumni salary potential.
  • Ranked No. 1 in Los Angeles County for percentage of students who transfer to four-year universities.
  • Ranked No. 2 in California for the rate at which students complete their courses.
  • A leader in the use of Open Educational Resources.

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Making a difference

First-Year Promise enhances college success and builds a foundation for lifelong learning by providing a cohort learning model, weekly counseling, and academic and career guidance. Your donation will enhance the program by providing students:

  • $50 – A parking or bus pass.
  • $100 – Tuition for one class.
  • $250 – Texbooks.
  • $500 – Tuition for one semester.
  • $1,000 – Tuition for one year.

Cost comparison chart 


California Community Colleges provide affordable access to higher education.

  • Community College: $1,380
  • California State University: $6,759*
  • University of California: $13,300*

*Tuition and campus-based fees (not including room and board)

give the gift of a promise: a free first year of college

College of the Canyons Foundation: Empowering People logo

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355

College of the Canyons Foundation: Empowering People logo

26455 Rockwell Canyon Road

Santa Clarita, CA 91355