Contra Costa Community College District Promotes Affordable Internet Benefit To All Eligible Students

The Contra Costa Community College District (4CD) is the first California community college district to partner with the California Emerging Technology Fund and encourage their students to take advantage of the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). This federally-funded program offers a $30 monthly discount for home internet service, helping to reduce the expense of internet service or even make it free for qualifying families.

“Access to high-quality internet is a basic need for today’s college students,” said 4CD Interim Chancellor Mojdeh Mehdizadeh. “Many of our students struggle to make ends meet, and our colleges are doing an amazing job of providing an array of basic needs programs that are helping them stay on their educational journey. This program of affordable or free high-quality internet access at home to support our students’ educational success is critical given the increasing demand of online or hybrid courses our students want.”

According to a recent 4CD analysis of students applying for an emergency support grant, over 50 percent said they needed the grant to help pay for home internet service to complete their studies. 4CD began promoting the ACP by reaching out to its students who are currently federal Pell Grant recipients, as they most likely would qualify for this program as well.

“We are excited to see the Contra Costa Community College District take this proactive step informing their students about how to apply for high-quality low-cost internet,” said Sunne Wright McPeak, President and CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund.  “As a non-profit focused on closing 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 ACP.”

CETF has estimated that almost 22,000 Contra Costa County households could qualify for this program, and currently only approximately 16 percent of eligible households are enrolled. Qualifications for the ACP include a household income of $55,000 or less, or if anyone in a household receives Lifeline, Free or Reduced School Lunch assistance, CalFresh or SNAP, Medi-Cal or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Pell Grant, or WIC.

For more information or to apply, please go to www.internetforallnow.org/applytoday, or call (844) 516-0994.

The Contra Costa Community College District (CCCCD) is one of the largest multi-college community college districts in California. The CCCCD serves a population of 1,019,640 people, and its boundaries encompass all but 48 of the 734-square-mile land area of Contra Costa County. The District is home to Contra Costa College in San Pablo, Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, as well as 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 directed to be established in 2007 by the California Public Utilities Commission to close the State’s Digital Divide.  CETF provides grants to non-profit community-based organizations (CBOs) to assist low-income households adopt broadband and become digitally proficient, leads, and manages School2Home to successfully integrate technology into teaching and learning with deep parent engagement to close the Achievement Gap in middle schools in low-income neighborhoods, and promotes Digital Inclusion in public policy to achieve Digital Equity. For more information, please visit www.cetfund.org.