Higher education will be free in San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO — Move over, Rice-a-Roni! San Francisco has a new treat in town, and it's free!

"To California residents who are living in San Francisco, your community college is now free," San Francisco’s Mayor Ed Lee said.

After months of pressure, city hall made a commitment and put San Francisco ahead of the learning curve on this one. It's the first city in the nation to offer higher education for free. The City By The Bay will guarantee nearly $5.4 million a year to city college. It is tuition for students who live in San Francisco, no matter what their economic status.

There will be an increase in the real estate transfer tax for properties valued at more than $5 million. Funding begins next fall. In order to qualify as a resident, students have to live in the city for at least one year and a day.  No matter whether they're full-time students or part-timers, if they meet the qualifications, they're going to college.

Full time students on financial aid will get an extra $500 to help with books and supplies.

"If you fund schools and you have a more educated like workforce then the country makes more money off of that," current student Azizi Lloyd said.

Nearly 30,000 students are expected to benefit. And it sounds like they expect to pay it forward.