College Matters: Anthony Beebe

Like many, I got a student loan when I went to college. It was a seductive offer — no qualifying, a low interest rate and deferred payments until I graduated! What could possibly go wrong?

Well, while I was able to repay my loan in full, this is not always the case. For many young graduates, the huge student loan debt after college is too much to shoulder on top of the realities of life, such as finding a new job, finding a place to live, getting married and starting a family.

With the national student loan debt at more than $1.4 trillion, greater than total car loans or credit-card debt, and increasing at about $3,000 per second, loan debt is a serious barrier to education and advancement!

The bright spot: The SBCC Foundation College Promise! This is a promise to all our local students. The program is open to graduates from any high school program within the Santa Barbara City College District, giving them the opportunity to attend SBCC full time for two years free of charge!

The best part, they will have no student loan debt when they graduate from college!

From Carpinteria to Gaviota, all local students are welcome, whether from public or private high schools, charter schools, home-schooled programs, wherever; SBCC’s doors are open to all!

The program covers tuition and fees, required books and required supplies in an effort to remove economic barriers, making our hometown college fully accessible to all local students.

One important aspect of the Promise program is that students must participate in it within one year of graduation, so those who graduated earlier this month need to apply now for fall!

We are all proud to be able to claim that the SBCC Foundation College Promise program is at no cost to taxpayers. The funds for the program are all received through generous private donors who care about our local students going to college without debt. What a wonderful investment in our local youth!

Anthony Beebe Ph.D., Ed.D. is superintendent/president of Santa Barbara City College. The opinions expressed are his own.

Anthony Beebe

Anthony Beebe Ph.D., Ed.D. is superintendent/president of Santa Barbara City College. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.