Second lady Jill Biden joined Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at Los Angeles City College on Wednesday to launch the LA College Promise program, which will give all graduates of Los Angeles Unified high schools a year of free tuition at one of nine area community colleges.
"The more than 1,300 community colleges nationwide are not just the key to a bright future for their students," Biden said, "they are the backbone of America's postsecondary education and training system."
The nonprofit organization Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles raised over $1.75 million for the program, making Los Angeles the nation's largest city to guarantee some form of higher education. Students will have the flexibility to pursue education, meaning that some won't have to immediately go into the workforce.
"After the 12th grade, it has gotten more and more expansive, more and more difficult to get a higher education degree, and we know that 35 percent of jobs require college degree, and we know that you can earn a million dollars more in your lifetime if you get a college degree," Garcetti said.
Los Angeles Unified School District had a high school graduation rate of 75 percent in 2015. Thirty-five percent of those students went on to community college.