In efforts to mitigate the economic challenges to higher education, the College of Alameda is offering $500 to qualified students who enroll in their fall 2022 semester, the college announced.

To qualify, students must be enrolled in three or more units for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 22, and complete either a Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act application by Oct. 1. After verification, students will receive the funds by Oct. 31.

Whether a student qualifies for traditional financial aid or not, they will still receive $500. The hope is to incentivize students to at least apply for financial aid, as many students will find they qualify for various ways to cut down tuition prices, said the college leadership team.

College President Nathaniel Jones III stated that education is life-changing, yet it can be difficult for students to pay for it.

“We are investing in our students and community — all students, regardless of income — in order to put money in their pockets while we provide them with a pathway to a four-year university degree, better paying jobs, and a brighter future,” he stated. “We believe in our student’s success and are partnering with them to make their educational aspirations a reality.”

Funding for this project comes from the federal government’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, which intends to assist students access education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on the academic, vocational and student support programs the college has to offer can be found on the school’s website.