MARTINEZ, Calif. – The Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) is the first community college district in California to partner with the California Emerging Technology Fund and encourage its students to take advantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This federally funded program offers a $30 monthly rebate on home internet service, which can reduce internet service expenses or even make it free for eligible families.
“Access to high-quality internet is a basic need for students today,” said 4CD Acting Chancellor Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. “Many of our students are struggling to make ends meet, and our colleges are doing an incredible job of offering a range of basic needs programs that help them continue their academic journey. This affordable or free high quality home Internet access program to support the academic success of our students is essential given the growing demand for online or hybrid courses that our students want.
According to a recent 4CD analysis of students applying for an emergency support grant, more than 50% said they needed the grant to pay for home internet service in order to complete their studies. 4CD started promoting the CPA by reaching out to its students who are current federal Pell grant recipients, as they would most likely be eligible for this program as well.
“We are thrilled to see the Contra Costa Community College District taking this proactive step to educate its students on how to apply for high-quality internet at low cost,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of California Emerging Technology Fund. “As a nonprofit organization focused on bridging the digital divide in California, we look forward to working with other community college districts to proactively inform their students about how they can apply for the ‘ACP.’
The CETF has estimated that nearly 22,000 households in Contra Costa County could be eligible for this program, and currently only about 16% of eligible households are enrolled. Qualifications for CPA include a household income of $55,000 or less, or if anyone in a household is receiving Lifeline, Free or Reduced School Lunch, CalFresh or SNAP, Medi-Cal, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI ), Pell Grant or WIC.
For more information or to apply, go to www.internetforallnow.org/applytoday or call (844) 516-0994.
The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-university community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of Contra Costa County’s 734 square mile area. The district is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburgh, and educational centers in Brentwood and San Ramon. The District headquarters is located in downtown Martinez.
The California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) is a public benefit foundation to be established in 2007 by the California Public Utilities Commission to bridge the state’s digital divide. The CETF provides grants to community-based nonprofit organizations (CBOs) to help low-income households adopt broadband and become digitally literate, leads and manages School2Home to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning. learning with deep parental engagement to close the college achievement gap in low-income neighborhoods and promotes digital inclusion in public policy to achieve digital equity. For more information, please visit www.cetfund.org.