Two students 

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Your first year of college is free if you qualify 

The De Anza College Promise guarantees that eligible low-income students can get the first year of their college education free at De Anza – the school that is consistently Tops in Transfer in Silicon Valley.

The program launched in September 2017 for regional high school seniors who are graduating in the spring. First-time college students who enter De Anza with a Cal Grant in fall 2018 will automatically receive

  • $500 toward books and course materials. See below for more information on how to stretch your books and materials dollars.

  • Payment of the first year (three quarters) of fees not covered through other aid.

Benefits of the De Anza College Promise include

  • Free first-year entry into the college
  • Free transportation on the Valley Transit Authority (VTA) system, through the De Anza College SmartPass
  • Membership in the Promise Learning Community, with extensive personalized counseling, follow-up and support through the Office of Outreach, along with referrals to additional resources and learning communities

  • Summer Welcome Event – a special opportunity to connect with fellow students, faculty and counselors on campus

Qualifying students will have low incomes and may include students who are undocumented or foster youth aging out of the system.

Details of the De Anza College Promise were announced during a special community launch event held Sept 27 at the Foothill Sunnyvale Center. The featured speaker was Martha J. Kanter, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education and former chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. 

Students: Here's how to qualify

Note: You must apply for the Cal Grant by March 2, 2018.
  • Apply for the Cal Grant. You can apply starting Oct.1, 2017 – but no later than March 2, 2018 – in order to be awarded a Cal Grant in time for fall 2018. Students can apply by using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to have their financial circumstances evaluated for both the Cal Grant and the BOG fee waiver. This is also the first step to qualify for other types of state and federal aid. 

  • Undocumented Students: You can qualify for a Cal Grant through the California Dream Act, but you must submit this separate application instead of the FAFSA by March 2.

  • Make sure that your Grade Point Average (GPA) Verification Form gets sent to the California Student Aid Commission by March 2. Most high schools will do this electronically for you, or you can ask your school to use this printed form.
  • Apply to De Anza as early as you can, starting February 1, 2018, for admission in fall 2018.

  • Don't forget the BOG fee waiver. You don't need to apply separately for the fee waiver if you've already submitted your FAFSA or California Dream Act application. But you can also apply here

Here are more tips on applying for the Cal Grant and submitting a California Dream Act application

Still have questions? Contact the Office of Outreach at 408.864.8327 or by email at

S-t-r-e-t-c-h your dollars for books 

Students participating in the De Anza College Promise receive $500 toward books and materials. De Anza also has several ways to help students make their book dollars go further.

  • Course Reserves: Some textbooks or other books required by instructors can be borrowed for short periods from the Library at no cost. Search the Library catalog under "Course Reserves."

  • Bookstore Rentals: Required textbooks can be rented from the Bookstore, at lower cost than purchasing them outright.

  • Open Educational Resources: De Anza is working with the OpenStax Project to make it easier for instructors to assign free or low-cost books that are available online. The Bookstore has this list of free online books that De Anza instructors are already using for classes in anthropology, business, math and a host of other subjects.

Make plans for YOUR graduation ...




Building: Seminar (SEM 3)
Contact: Outreach
Phone: 408.864.8327

Hours:  M-F 8:30am-4:30pm 


Last Updated: 4/20/18