Mission

We are students and allies fighting for free college tuition, protections from student debt, and greater investments in quality, public higher education in California.

1 Million

The shortage of college graduates California will face by 2025 if we don't act.

Join the Movement

3X

The amount in-state tuition has increased in California over the last 20 years.

Take Action on Your Campus

Fight for Free College Tuition

Our grassroots campaign is led by students and supporters like you. With your help, we can make California a state where hard work and talent -- not income or wealth -- determines your success in college and beyond.

Lead the Movement

Apply now to organize with Rise on your campus

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50%

5 of the top 10 colleges that help students rise out of poverty and live the American dream are public schools in California.

  • Alexandra Billings, known for her role in Transparent, is one of the first openly transgender women to play a transgender character on TV. She is an actress, educator, and activist. 🏳️‍🌈✊🏼⠀
She received her MFA in Theater Arts from Cal State Long Beach where she went back and taught theatre. She is an AIDS and LGBTQ rights activist who encourages others to use their voice to create change in the LGBTQ community. She's won many awards, including the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. Thanks for being an inspiration and for empowering others @therealalexandrabillings! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
  • "Coming out of high school, I honestly had no intention to go to a university like UC Berkeley, even if I was qualified to get in (which I certainly wasn’t). My dream was to play competitive college golf and study something that would allow me to have a career in golf, the game that gave me joy throughout high school. But, after a year studying sports and entertainment management, I found out that a career in golf just wasn’t for me.⠀
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I made the difficult decision to transfer out of Miami and head to a 2-year community college in Southern California. There, I found my place studying Political Science while continuing to play the game I love on the golf team.⠀
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After achieving my 2-year associates with success both academically and athletically, I had yet another difficult decision to make… Continue my dream of playing competitive golf in college by transferring to a 4-year university that had a spot for me on their golf team, or transfer to UC Berkeley, a university that had never crossed my mind until I discovered I was smart enough to get in and attend after my time in CC.⠀
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I was accepted into UC Berkeley and after much deliberation, I decided to finish my undergrad career there. This decision made me put the golf clubs away for a couple of years because I didn’t have a car and I was ballin’ on a college budget. While this was hard to do, it did give me more time for other things. I honestly still can’t believe that I ended up at UC Berkeley. It’s crazy to think that it’s over now and I will be embarking on a new journey. I’m not entirely sure what the future holds for me, but I know I will carry my experiences at UC Berkeley with me in whatever I do." -Joe, UC Berkeley
  • What would free tuition mean to you? Let us know in the comments below ⬇️⠀
"Free tuition would change my life in numerous ways. I wouldn’t have to take out student loans and be in debt after completing my college degree. Not having to bear the weight of student loans would mean that I could afford to eat better meals/food rather than the cheapest that I can find. Not having to bear the weight of student loans would mean not having to both work 2 part-time jobs while being a full time student. Not having to bear the weight of student loans would mean that I could have more free time, whether that be taking care of myself or simply spending time with family. Free tuition wouldn’t simply mean being stress free when it comes to an education. Free tuition would mean having a better life all around and having more time to focus on my education rather than work and the stress that comes along with it." -Lara, UCR
  • "Entering a university with 35,000 other students definitely was one of the biggest changes I have encountered in my 22 years of life, and I was faced with a lot of ugly self-doubt... From the mental breakdowns during all-nighters writing 10-page papers to the sleepless weeks working 3 jobs from 5am-10pm & going to class in between, I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am finally able to say that I have graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, and finished off with a 3.5 GPA and cum laude honors! I am also happy to say that I am the first generation in my family to graduate from college!" -Leighann, CSULB
  • Marlon Riggs was a filmmaker, poet, and activist for LGBTQ+ rights. 🏳️‍🌈
After he received his Master's degree in journalism from @ucberkeleyofficial he began working on documentaries focused on different social issues. As he was working on two of his pieces, he was diagnosed with HIV. Despite his diagnosis, he continued to make films and teach at UC Berkeley. His work focused on his experiences as a gay black man and was critical of American racism and sexism. Because of his education from UC Berkeley, he knew how to navigate the complexities of his films. Riggs passed away in 1994 due to AIDS, but he continues to be a role model for the LGBTQ+ community. 🌟🌈🌄 #pride
  • "Free tuition would change my life in numerous ways. I wouldn’t have to take out student loans and be in debt after completing my college degree. I could afford to eat better meals rather than the cheapest that I can find. I wouldn't have to work two part time jobs and be a full time student. I could have more leisure time, whether that be taking care of myself or simply spending time with family. Free tuition wouldn’t simply mean being stress free when it comes to an education. Free tuition would mean having a better life all around -- having more time to focus on my education rather than work and not feeling the stress that comes along with bearing the weight of student loans." -Lara Rodriguez, UCR
  • “I chose to go to college to continue my educational journey in this country and take some time away from my hometown to grow as an individual. I am lucky because my mother pays my tuition. But, she is a single mother paying for me and my sister to go to college. Right now, instead of going to college to learn and increase their knowledge, people are choosing to study the fields that pay the most so they can pay off their loans. Free college tuition would mean the ability to explore the many fields to see what fits you best so you don’t need to have it all figured out at the age of 18." -Gabriella, San Jose State University
  • "These past four years have been the most complex, grounding, life-changing, beautiful, messy, intellectually rewarding, and spiritually refining years of my life thus far.
The most important aspect of my education at CSULB has not been learning how to read dense academic texts, writing research papers, or informing my activism with theory, but has been about learning how to think critically. I remember when I chose CSULB over UCLA /UCI/Tufts in high school, nobody really understood why -- including myself. Now, I understand. From the spazzy and well-intentioned freshman who had an 8pm bedtime, to the newb in CMS Summer school in Granada who couldn’t tell the difference between Foucault and Fanon, to the #WeAreCSULB co-founder in Sophomore year, the accidental UN-speech giver before junior year, to the Junior workaholic at 1am Divestment meetings, early morning email binges for MSA, and 68 page Senate binders, to the enthusiastic newb (again) at Ihsaan Academy in Turkey, to the long nights working on my Senior Thesis, I can now finally see why. If it weren’t for the remarkable experiences or people I met in undergrad whether it was on campus or off, I would not be the woman I am today." -Yasmeen, CSULB
  • Today lawmaker announced a deal to fund the UC & CSU 🎉💸🙌🏽
When we organize and make our voices heard, we can reverse this vicious cycle of tuition hikes and start restoring investment in students! 
#FundTheUC #ChooseCSU
  • For #pridemonth we want to share notable UC/CSU/CCC alumni who have helped LGBTQ+ rights. 🌈🌈🌈 Up first: UCLA alum @georgehtakei ⠀
Best known for his role in Star Trek, George Takei received his BA and his MA in Theater from @UCLA in the 1960's. In response to  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s veto of a same-sex marriage bill in 1995, Takei publicly came out. In 2006, Takei started “Equality Trek,” a speaking tour about coming out. Takei met his partner, Brad Altman, in 1987. They married 21 years later, shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in CA. ⠀
He said, “The richness of our communities, our cities, and our nation lies in recognizing and celebrating our diversity. That diversity is not only in our various ethnicity and cultures, but also in the diversity of our sexual orientations. We all contribute, each in our own way, to the strength, vitality, and the well-being of our society.” ❤️

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