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The De Anza College Promise:

Your first year of college is free if you qualify. Here's how.

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 the California College Promise (BOG fee waiver)

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. See below for details on how to qualify.

The De Anza College Promise was launched at a special community 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.

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Students: Here's How to Qualify


You must apply for the Cal Grant by March 2 if you are planning to enroll at De Anza in the fall.

The De Anza College Promise is open to qualifying students from all high schools, provided they are graduating from high school this year and will be enrolling at De Anza in the fall. Here's how to qualify 

  • Apply for the Cal Grant.  You must apply no later than March 2 in order to be awarded a Cal Grant in time to enroll in the fall of that year. 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 California College Promise. (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 for admission as early as you can.

And don't forget the California College Promise (previously called the BOG Fee Waiver). You don't need to apply separately if you've already submitted your FAFSA or California Dream Act application. But you can also apply here.

Need more help? 

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

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