POLICY BRIEF: Support Services that make Promise a Reality
College Promise programs are designed to make college more affordable for students and meet the labor market’s demand for a skilled workforce. By removing the barriers of tuition and fees and branding themselves as “free college,” these programs inspire many families and students to pursue higher education who might have otherwise viewed it as out of reach. To better understand the impact of College Promise, research organizations such as MDRC — a nonprofit, nonpartisan, education and social policy research organization — are conducting rigorous evaluations of some of these programs. MDRC’s College Promise work began in 2016 with the evaluation of the Detroit Promise Path. Findings from this study demonstrate that incorporating student support services into the scholarship has a positive impact on full-time enrollment and credit accumulation.
MDRC’s College Promise Success Initiative provides technical assistance to College Promise and Free College programs interested in promoting success in college by implementing evidence-based student support practices. Through this initiative, MDRC is disseminating best practices and tools to the 300-plus College Promise and Free College programs that exist across the country.
The College Promise Campaign is a national, for accessible, affordable, quality College Promise programs that enable hardworking students to complete a college degree or certificate. The Campaign empowers community college and their education, business, government and philanthropic partners to enact solutions for students to graduate from college, advance in the workforce, further their education, and build rewarding lives in our nation’s communities and states.