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The 4CD Promise: "First Time + Full Time = Free Tuition" (FT3)
OUR Pledge
The College pledges to...
SUPPORT you in understanding and navigating your college and career journey
PROVIDE FREE TUITION for your first academic year of college
ASSIST you in preparing for college and career training:
  • College and financial aid applications
  • Orientation, education plans, and choosing classes
  • Clear pathways to jobs and university transfer, as well as career advancement
COMMIT to help you succeed in meeting your goals
YOUR Pledge
I pledge to...
TAKE CHARGE of my future with the college's help
ATTEND one of our colleges full-time (at least 12 college units per semester)
GET READY to attend college and do the following:
  • Complete a minimum of 12 units
  • Maintain a 2.0 grade point average or higher to remain eligible
  • Actively participate in college programs and support services
  • Make steady progress on my education plan
make your commitment now
Who Qualifies?
First time students defined as:
a student who has no prior postsecondary experience attending any institution for the first time at the undergraduate level (excluding the summer term immediately prior)
OR students who entered with advanced standing (college credits or postsecondary formal award earned before graduation from high school)
Who are also full time and otherwise eligible:
complete a District Pledge/Application for FT3 by no later than the deadline date
complete a FAFSA or Dream Act Application (do not need to qualify for aid, only submit a complete application)
complete an educational plan
enroll in and complete a minimum of 12 units with a 2.0 GPA

Printable Version (PDF)

How does the Contra Costa Community College District's FT3 Promise work?
Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) is invested in your success and, as a part of our College Promise effort, we offer the "First Time + Full Time = Free Tuition" (FT3) program. By completing at least 12 units each primary semester of your first year, you could receive a refund of your tuition!
Here's how it works:
  • Be a first-time college student
  • Enroll in a minimum of 12 units
  • Be a California resident or otherwise exempt from paying non-resident tuition fees (e.g. AB540)
  • Complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act application
  • Have an educational plan on file
  • Complete a minimum of 12 units for the semester with a GPA of 2.0 or higher
  • Receive a refund of your enrollment fees!!!
Once you have successfully completed your first term successfully, we will automatically enroll you in the program for the subsequent semester. As long as you complete 12 units with a 2.0 GPA, you will earn another refund of your enrollment fees. It's that easy to receive free tuition for an entire year with us!
What is the Contra Costa Community College District promising?
Whether seeking an AA degree, pursuing transfer opportunities for a higher degree or retooling their education and skills with a short-term career or technical education certificate, students participating in the FT3 Promise will receive:
  • An education plan, including academic and career advising to achieve their education goals, along with related academic and student support services.
  • Priority enrollment during the first year attending the Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) colleges.
  • Up to one year of free tuition at any Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) college using a combination of funding resources (including federal, state, local, and private resources).
  • In addition, resources for text book assistance, transportation, dependent care and other education expenses may also be available to those who qualify for federal or state financial aid assistance.
Which colleges are included in the Contra Costa Community College District's FT3 Promise?
The Contra Costa Community College District's FT3 Promise includes attendance at any or all of the Colleges and Education Centers.
  • Contra Costa College, San Pablo
  • Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill Campus
  • Diablo Valley College, San Ramon Campus
  • Los Medanos College, Pittsburg Campus
  • Los Medanos College, Brentwood Center
Who may apply for the FT3 Promise?
4CD students who are California residents as well as those exempt from paying non-resident fees.
In addition, 4CD students who meet the eligibility criteria for an AB540 fee exemption and are eligible to file a California Dream Act application are also eligible to apply for the FT3 Promise Program.
What is the FT3 Promise eligibility criteria?
Students who would like to be included in the FT3 Promise must:
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act application. (Students who are ineligible to apply for Federal or State Aid will not qualify for the FT3 Promise Program)
  • Enroll full-time (a minimum of 12 units per primary term) at a 4CD college.
  • Declare an educational objective and establish an educational plan to achieve the objective.
  • Maintain a 2.0 GPA while participating in the FT3 Promise program.
How do I remain eligible for the FT3 Promise?
Students receiving an FT3 Promise must complete at least 12 units per primary term and maintain a 2.0 GPA to qualify for a refund of their enrollment fee upon verified completion.
How do I apply to participate in the FT3 Promise?
By completing the following:
How will I know if my application is approved to participate in the FT3 Promise?
You will be notified when your application has been reviewed and you have been approved.
How many units do I have to complete to be considered "full-time" for the FT3 Promise?
A student must complete 12 or more units per primary semester (Fall & Spring). Completing a class means receiving a final grade in the course (including A, B, C, D, F, P, NP, but not including W, FW, I, MW).
What if I am a part of a specialized program that has already approved my "full time" status to be 9 units rather than 12 units for the FT3 Promise?
If a student is part of a program such as DSPS or CalWORKs, and obtains an approved exception from the program manager, the program manager will notify the appropriate college office that is tracking FT3 unit exemptions. Upon verification, qualifying students enrolled in and completing 9 units will be considered "full-time" students for the purposes of this specific grant.
What does the FT3 Promise cover?
The FT3 Promise will cover the $46 per unit enrollment/tuition fee at all 4CD colleges. The student will be responsible for any books, supplies and materials fees that a class requires. The student will still be responsible for other non-course fees.
When can I expect to see the FT3 Promise award on my account?
Grant awards will be applied to student accounts once eligibility for the grant is verified for completed coursework at the conclusion of the term.
Do I need to add a 4CD College to my FAFSA?
If a student has not already done so, the student will need to add one of the Contra Costa Community College District colleges to their FAFSA application to meet the FAFSA application eligibility requirement. Alternatively, if a student filled out the California Dream Act Application (CADAA) they will need to add a 4CD college as well.
If I have any early college credit, am I eligible to apply for the FT3 Promise Grant? Does a summer class disqualify a student's first-time status for the Fall term for the FT3 Promise?
The student may take courses in the Summer term immediately prior to the fall term and still be considered a first-time student. In addition a student or who enters the college with Advanced Placement or college credits earned while concurrently in high school is still considered a first-time student.
If a student qualifies for the grant in the Fall term, does it cover the tuition for the Summer prior as well?
Would a student need to enroll full-time in the summer session in order to remain eligible for the grant?
No. Summer is a non-primary term and is excluded from the FT3 program
What if a student comes for Fall semester, sits out Spring semester, then returns the following Fall. Does the "first year" have to be consecutive semesters?
Yes. A student can be eligible for one calendar year. If they choose to leave a semester and return, their eligibility will not be extended.
Can I start the FT3 Promise in the Spring term?
A student can begin their course of study in either semester and will still be eligible for one full year of free enrollment fees.
Do other scholarships and financial aid affect whether or not I receive an FT3 Promise Grant?
The FT3 Promise Grant is an initiative designed to cover one year of enrollment fees for full-time students through various funding streams. If you receive a Community College Promise Grant (formerly known as the BOG Fee Waiver), your enrollment fees will be paid through that Grant. In the event that you are not eligible for the Community College Promise Grant, and you are eligible for the FT3 Promise Grant, you will receive the FT3 Promise Grant to pay for enrollment fees.
Private scholarships awarded to students outside of federal or state financial aid will not affect receipt of the FT3 Promise Grant unless the cost of attendance has been reached.
If I qualify for financial aid, can I turn down the financial aid and instead receive the FT3 Promise Grant?
No. However, please take note that if state or financial aid does not fully cover the cost of tuition, students who meet all other eligibility requirements for the FT3 Promise Grant will have the remaining tuitions costs covered by the FT3.
What if I'm taking some of my units at another college?
To be considered in the FT3 Promise Program, you must complete a minimum of 12 units at the 4CD colleges (Contra Costa, Diablo Valley, and Los Medanos). Units from colleges outside of 4CD colleges will not be considered.
Is there an application deadline?
Yes. Students must complete the application/pledge by the date identified on the pledge page.
I want to support the college FT3 Promise as a donor - who do I speak to about making an FT3 Promise donation?
If you would like to make a donation, please contact the Contra Costa Community College District's Foundation Executive Director Cindy Goga, by phone at (925) 229-6834 or via email at: cgoga@4cd.edu.
You can also visit our giving page for each of the colleges and designate your gift to the FT3 Promise. We welcome your support for our students!
You may contact an individual college if you have any further questions:
  • CCC Welcome Center: (510) 215-4110
  • DVC Welcome Services: (925) 969-2106 or welcome@dvc.edu
  • LMC Welcome Desk: (925) 473-7430