The Cambrian

Donation gives Coast Unified grads a second year free at Cuesta College

Vicki Schumacher, superintendent of Coast Unified School District, announces the “Cambria Promise” program Wednesday afternoon at Leffingwell High School.
Vicki Schumacher, superintendent of Coast Unified School District, announces the “Cambria Promise” program Wednesday afternoon at Leffingwell High School. sprovost@thetribunenews.com

Coast Union and Leffingwell High School students looking forward to a free year of tuition at Cuesta College under the Cuesta Promise program now have a bonus ahead of them: a second year paid for as well, free and clear.

Coast Unified Superintendent Vicki Schumacher announced what the district has dubbed the Cambria Promise program Wednesday afternoon at Leffingwell High School’s graduation ceremony.

Schumacher said the program was made possible by a $20,000 donation to the Cuesta College Foundation from an individual who wished to remain anonymous. She did said the gift would be “enough funds to cover two years of this endeavor, possibly three.”

“We would love to have this be an ongoing effort,” she said, expressing the hope that other individuals and community groups might donate to keep the program in place once the initial funds are depleted. “And we would love to have this possibly extend to four-year schools in the future.”

You’ve heard of the Cuesta Promise. Now we have the Cambria Promise, where our graduates can have a second year of college at no expense.

Vicki Schumacher, Coast Unified superintendent

The program piggybacks on the Cuesta Promise program, which offers all San Luis Obispo County high schools a free year of education at the community college. The Cuesta Promise covers fees for enrollment at $46 per unit, health, student ID card, student rep, student center and course materials fees — not including books or items required by an instructor in a class syllabus — during a student’s initial fall and spring semesters.

The community college distributed $306,000 in funds last year. Its program began with an $8.5 million bequest to the college from Charles and Leeta Dovica. Now, another gift has extended that opportunity to a second year for Coast Union and Leffingwell graduates.

“We’re calling this the Cambria Promise,” Schumacher said in announcing the program. “You’ve heard of the Cuesta Promise. Now we have the Cambria Promise, where our graduates can have a second year of college at no expense.”

Fifty students are expected to graduate from Coast Union and Leffingwell high schools this year, with Coast Union ceremonies set for 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Four graduated from Leffingwell on Wednesday, June 8.

Of those, 29 expect to pursue their higher education at Cuesta College.

Stephen H. Provost: 805-927-8896, @sproauthor

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