A student working on a laptop looking up and smiling

Offering all students free tuition and textbooks at SBVC likely had a significant impact on student enrollment, as was witnessed firsthand this summer when total student headcount increased by 33% over the prior summer, from 5,680 in Summer 2022 to 7,551 in Summer 2023. Out of that number, 2,244 (or 29.7%) were first-time SBVC students. Overall, SBVC finished the 2022-2023 academic year with a 6.8% increase in headcount over 2021-22, putting the college on track to reversing an enrollment decline that pummeled most colleges nationwide during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it is well known that free tuition and textbooks remove financial barriers that may prevent students from enrolling in courses, covering these costs for students on a prolonged basis may not yet be sustainable for most colleges, especially community colleges, due to limitations in federal and state funding they receive.

SBVC will continue to offer free textbook rentals for all students in the Fall 2023 and Spring 2023 terms, which will save students hundreds of dollars as they continue to pursue their educational goals.

"Our mission is to provide as much access to higher education as we can," said interim president Dr. Linda Fontanilla. "We hope that all students in our community are able to take advantage of this free textbook opportunity while it is available."