De Anza College Promise!

male grad in sunglasses and two women grads, one with flowersWith the De Anza College Promise, eligible students get 

  • FREE tuition and fees for TWO years – up to 15 units per quarter – see below for details
  • Plus: FREE transportation with the VTA SmartPass

at the college that’s always Tops in Transfer!

It's Easy to Apply!

We’ve made it simple to qualify, with no separate application required. (See how it works.) The program is open to California residents or those exempted from nonresident tuition – including students with AB 540 status. To qualify, you must

  • Be a first-time college student
  • Plan to attend full time (you must take at least 12 units per quarter to maintain eligibility)
  • Have annual household income of $200,000 or less*
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the California Dream Act Application and list De Anza College on the application

(* Different conditions apply for students admitted into the Promise program before spring 2023.)

Here's How It Works

For new students, the De Anza Promise award will cover up to 15 units per quarter. (Different conditions apply to students admitted into the Promise program before spring 2023.)

Tops in Transfer ... and More!There's no deadline to apply for the De Anza College Promise! You can still file the FAFSA or California Dream Act Application (CADAA) now!

For information and personal assistance, contact a Promise Counselor in the Office of Outreach at 408.864.8327 or

Want to Know More?

The De Anza College Promise means you don’t have to worry about paying fees. Here is what you need to know to apply, check your benefits AND maintain your eligibility.

  • Step 1: Submit your FAFSA or CADAA

  • Step 2: Apply for admission

  • Step 3: Register for at least 12 units

  • Step 4: Check your Financial Aid award 

  • Step 5: Be patient . . .

  • Any questions? Here's where to find assistance

What It Covers

  • The De Anza College Promise waives tuition and fees for up to 15 units per quarter – fall, winter and spring – for two years (not summer session).
  • The Promise award doesn't cover parking permits, so you'll still need to buy your permit if you plan on driving to campus. (Parking fees are waived through June 2024.)
  • Your award does cover the SmartPass fee, which means you can ride free on VTA buses and light rail.

Martha KanterLaunched in 2017

The De Anza College Promise was launched at a special community event held Sept 27, 2017 at the Foothill Sunnyvale Center.

The featured speaker at the event was Martha J. Kanter, former U.S. Undersecretary of Education and former chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

Take a Quick Tour!

Visit our video tour webpage to watch the full-length Grand Tour and see what some of our students are saying about their favorite spots on campus.

Stretch Your Book Dollars!

student stretching $500 bill

Here are several ways that you can make your book dollars go further, including

  • Free or Low-Cost Textbooks: Many classes now use zero-cost or low-cost textbooks and other materials. You'll find these classes marked with special symbols in the course listings.
  • Course Reserves: Some textbooks or other books required by instructors can be borrowed for short periods from the Library at no cost. 
  • Bookstore Rentals: Many textbooks can be rented from the Bookstore, at lower cost than purchasing them outright.

If you're in a Learning Community, EOPS or Guardian Scholars, you may also qualify for Bookstore vouchers. Ask your program counselor about these.

Visit the Stretch Your Book Dollars webpage to learn more!

smiling graduate

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