POLICY BRIEF: How Harper College Established Its Promise

In 2015, William Rainey Harper College, a large community college in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, worked in partnership with its three feeder high school districts to implement the Harper College Promise Scholarship Program (“Promise”) to incentivize a path to postsecondary and workforce readiness for students in these schools. The Promise Program, supported through a […]

California College Promise Project – The College Promise Guidebook for California and Beyond

Released by the California College Promise Project and WestEd, with the support of the College Futures Foundation, the College Promise Guidebook provides step-by-step guidance to teams who are developing, strengthening, or expanding a College Promise program.  The Guidebook is organized into three sections that cover topics ranging from framing your program to evaluating and implementing […]

POLICY BRIEF: What Can States Learn from Local College Promise Programs?

Since the Tennessee Promise was launched in 2014, statewide tuition-free college scholarships, often called College Promise programs, have proliferated. These programs are distinct from an earlier generation of merit-based scholarship programs, such as the Georgia Hope Scholarship, in that they seek to make at least two years of college tuition-free for a broad segment of […]

April 24, 2019 – Statewide Promise Status Update

The College Promise Campaign has released a status update on statewide programs engaged in the free college movement, highlighting the 24 states that have actively passed and taken steps to implement a statewide College Promise program. These statewide programs reflect the bipartisan nature of a movement intended to both bolster the American talent pipeline and […]

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 […]

POLICY BRIEF: Growing College Enrollment and Persistence with the Pittsburgh Promise

Like other cities looking to reinvigorate their local community and labor force, Pittsburgh has turned to a place-based scholarship (or “Promise” program) as a means to encourage enrollment in its city schools, support college going for district graduates, and bolster the strength of its labor force. As with many other Promise programs across the country, […]

POLICY BRIEF: Promise Design Matters: A Review of The Degree Project

In recent years, the free college or “College Promise” movement has seen tremendous momentum at the local and state level. In the face of rising college costs, mounting student debt, and an ever-growing demand for an educated workforce, it is no surprise that Promise programs have found supporters in over 300 communities in 44 states […]

POLICY BRIEF: Spurring Innovation in New Jersey County Colleges through a Tuition-Free Pilot Program

Economic trends are driving the rising value of higher education in New Jersey and most residents will need a postsecondary certification or degree to get ahead. College Promise programs can help increase social, economic, and civic mobility by making higher education accessible and affordable. This spring, New Jersey will be piloting the state’s first tuition-free […]

POLICY BRIEF: Leveraging Free College and Children’s Savings Accounts For A 21st Century Wealth Building Agenda

This policy brief examines another way of supporting free college through leveraging and expanding current small-dollar Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) into a robust asset building program for the country and a way for low-income students to cover the full cost of college. While College Promise programs typically cover the cost of tuition and fees, they often fail […]

California College Promise: Program Characteristics and Perceptions from the Field

College Promise programs are thriving in California, and with the continued growth comes a need to understand the features of these diverse efforts and the perspectives of the communities in which they exist. In 2018, the James Irvine Foundation supported California College Promise Project (CCPP) at WestEd to study the College Promise landscape in California, […]

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