The launch of the “Pirates’ Promise” program at Orange Coast College is intended to cover the cost of education for first-year students who don’t qualify for full financial aid, for one year.

With the ever-growing cost of education, the program is reflective of OCC’s goal in lessening the financial burden and strain of navigating college. As the cost of a college education maintains all-time-highs, OCC continues to offer programs to help smooth the pathway to success for its students.

The Coast Report Editorial Board hopes to shed light on all the abundant resources offered at the community college level, and we urge all students to always take advantage of opportunities like Pirates’ Promise.

The initiative, open only to California residents, follows a law signed last year by Gov. Jerry Brown, the California College Promise Program, which allows community colleges to provide tuition-free education while providing funding.

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in at least 15 units, a requirement that pushes them to follow an accelerated route toward college completion and transfer. While the minimum requirement to be considered a full-time student is 12 units, the Pirates’ Promise eligibility requirement is pushing students to take more classes to streamline their time at Orange Coast.

With the cost of enrollment and other fees combined, a student taking 15 units per semester would pay roughly $1,500 per year.

Community colleges are typically recognized as a stepping stone in obtaining a higher educational degree. More importantly, campuses like OCC serve as a way of exploring different educational and career paths for a fraction of the cost compared to four-year universities.

The Coast Report Editorial Board believes the options of paths to academic success that are available at the community college level are sacred, and that students should take their time in savoring their OCC experience. However, we see the 15-unit requirement as a good number for a full, but not an overloaded class load.

While the cost of OCC and other community colleges can be seen as a motivating factor, some students still face financial burdens regardless of how low the cost may be respectively. The college’s initiative to further eliminate the financial deterrent through Pirates’ Promise provides even more incentive for students to apply and enroll at OCC.

The program serves as not only an incentive for enrollment, but a driving factor for students to focus their energy on course content as well as self-reflection while planning for future educational and career paths.

The Coast Report Editorial Board urges OCC students to take advantage of the programs and resources the college offers, such as Pirates’ Promise, and recognize the college as not just a quick stop on the way to a four-year university, but as an investment in education and self-growth.

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