De Anza College Promise: Get Your Degree - or Transfer - Free!

tops in transfer logo

You'll find a variety of College Promise programs at other community colleges, but we think this is the best College Promise program around – and it’s at De Anza, the college that’s always Tops in Transfer.

  • FREE tuition and fees for TWO years, for all eligible students
  • PLUS: $1,000 toward books and materials ($500 each year)
  • Free transportation with the VTA SmartPass, too!

We’ve also 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 – who

  • Are first-time college students 
  • Plan to attend full time, and
  • File the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or the California Dream Act Application and list De Anza College on the application

There are no income eligibility requirements but you must submit the FAFSA or CADAA.

three grads

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 to be eligible for the 2022-2023 academic year!

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 . . .

  • Step 6: Buy your books!

  • Any questions? Here's where to find assistance

What It Covers

  • De Anza College Promise benefits cover 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. It does cover the SmartPass fee, which means you can ride free on VTA buses and light rail

Martha KanterThe 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 of Our Campus!

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

Students participating in the De Anza College Promise receive $1,000 toward books and materials over two years. De Anza also has several ways to help students make their 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.

Visit the Stretch Your Book Dollars webpage to learn more!

smiling graduate

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