Which States Have a Free Community College?

VD February 02 2022

Community college brings multiple opportunities for gaining valuable education without the financial burden. On top of being affordable in the first place, community colleges can make education more accessible with state funding and scholarships. The article lists down some states that offer full or partial coverage for tuition in community colleges.

States With Free Community College Programs

  • Arkansas

The “Arkansas Future Grant” program offers a last-dollar grant for two-year programs within the STEM and other in-demand fields. It covers both the tuition and fees but includes lengthy eligibility requirements. It is for community college students only, and you must be a graduate of a public school in Arkansas. You can also be eligible if you have an equivalent diploma and have lived in Arkansas for at least three years. 

Once approved, you must commit to eight hours of community service each semester and work full-time for at least three consecutive years in the state.

  • California

The California Promise Program is only available to residents of California and covers tuition fees only. It is available for two-year and four-year programs in public colleges and universities. The conditions only include that you attend school full-time only.

  • Connecticut

Connecticut has the “Pledge to Advance Connecticut” program for state residents with a high school diploma or GED. The program is also available to all students that graduated from a Connecticut High school. 

To be eligible, you must be a first-time college student, enroll in a degree or other credit-bearing programs, and receive at least 12 credits per semester term. 

  • Delaware

The Student Excellence Equals Degree (SEED) program covers tuition for two-year programs for full-time students. The program only covers enrollment in either Delaware Technical Community College or the University of Delaware for its Associate Art program. Its requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA or a combined 1350 SAT score or ACT equivalent. 

  • Georgia

The HOPE Career Grant program offers tuition coverage for all public and technical colleges in the state. However, it only covers enrollment in high-demand fields that have plenty of job opportunities. You must be a resident of Georgia and fulfill the academic achievement and enrollment requirements.

  • Hawaii

The Hawaii Promise Scholarship covers tuition for all University of Hawaii Community colleges. You must commit to at least six credits and maintain a standard of academic achievement. 

  • Indiana

The 21st Century Scholars Program can be applied to students in the 7th or 8th grade. The student must maintain a high standard of academic achievement and avoid criminal activities to remain eligible. 

Other requirements include at least a 2.5 GPA, completing the state’s Scholar success program, achieving an Indiana Core 40 diploma at high school, and committing to at least one career preparation activity or college engagement each year.

  • Iowa

The Future Ready Iowa Scholarship is available to all Iowa residents enrolling in a high-demand career field. Students enrolling in both full-time or part-time schooling are eligible given they are also employed in a work-based learning program for part-time attendance. 

  • Kansas

Kansas Career Technical Workforce Grant allows all students with a high school or equivalent diploma from a Kansas School to apply for a maximum $1000 award per year. 

Given that good academic progress is maintained, you can apply for renewal for up to four semesters. Other conditions include enrolling in a high-demand field with plenty of job opportunities across the state.

  • Kentucky

The Work First Kentucky Scholarship covers community college tuition for all Kentucky residents with a high school GPA of at least 2.0 or a GED program. The program only covers education for in-demand career fields, including health care, business, IT, or manufacturing. 

  • Louisiana

Louisiana has the “Taylor Opportunity Program for Students” (TOPS) for residents attending either a state public college or university or any part of the state's Community and Technical College System. 

Some approved cosmetology and proprietary colleges may be covered as well. The program has four different coverage and holds a different set of requirements for each award amount. 

  • Maryland

Applicants can receive up to $5000 in coverage with the “Community College Promise Scholarship” for two-year vocational courses in a community college. 

You must hold a high school GPA of at least 2.3 or the equivalent GED. Once approved, you must commit to full-time work in the state within the year of your degree completion. 

  • Mississippi

The Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant offers to fund two-year and four-year programs to all state residents. You can enroll in either a state-approved Not-for-profit or public school for up to $500 of coverage for first- and second-year students and $1000 for juniors and seniors per year.

  • Missouri

The state’s A+ Scholarship Program is available for all Missouri residents enrolled in either a vocational or technical school in-state community. 

Eligibility requirements and conditions include at least 2.5 High School GPA a 95 percent attendance through grades 9 and 12. You must also commit to at least 50 hours of community service, including tutoring or mentoring. 

  • Montana

The Montana Promise Grant Program is available for all state residents with at least a high school diploma with a GPA of 2.5 or equivalent. The program covers funding for both associate degrees or a two-year credential at an in-state community college. 

  • Nevada

Under the Nevada Promise Scholarship, state residents can enroll in any in-state community college with full tuition coverage. You must be under 20, hold a high school diploma, commit to 20 hours of community service and take two training sessions.

  • New Jersey

The state offers Community College Opportunity Grant (CCOG) for 18 in-state county colleges. Requirements include a commitment to at least six credits each semester and a gross income of no more than $65,000.

  • New York

You can have up to $5,500 of tuition covered under the “Excelsior Scholarship Program” for both a two-year and four-year program. The requirements include a year-long state residency, high school or equivalent diploma, and enrollment in either the City University of New York or State University of New York systems. 

Other conditions include a $125,000 Gross income limit and commitment to at least 12 and 30 credits per term and academic year, respectively. 

  • Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Promise Program can only be applied during the 8th to 10th grade and covers tuition for both two and four-year schooling at any in-state public school. You must have a gross family income of less than $55,000, complete mandatory coursework in high school, and maintain good conduct.

  • Oregon

The Oregon Promise Program covers a maximum of 90 credits for any in-state community college and requires completion of a first-year experience program. Other conditions include state residency, a 2.5 GPA from high school, and part-time enrollment. 

  • Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Promise Program is available to state residents younger than 19 years and covers tuition for a full-time associate degree at its Community College. You must have a 2.5 high school GPA to qualify.