College Promise Celebrates 30 New Promise Programs on its 5-Year Anniversary

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A century ago, our nation made high school free and accessible for all, with the understanding that a high school education provided the necessary skills to compete in the 20th-century economy. Today, a high school education is no longer enough to equip students with the needed skills to compete in the highly competitive, global economy.

To address this challenge, on September 9, 2015, President Barack Obama announced Dr. Jill Biden and Governor Jim Geringer (R-WY) as the leaders of the College Promise National Advisory Board. Supported by nonpartisan leaders, they built the movement with a simple goal: to make the first two years of college—at a minimum—as free and universal as high school has been for the past century. At launch, College Promise identified 53 Promise programs across the nation. Today, nearly 360 Promise programs are underway across 47 states. Statewide Promise programs, created and funded through state legislatures, have grown to 30 states, and the District of Columbia, guaranteeing their unique versions of the College Promise for eligible residents. Communities and states have picked up this call to action because they share the common goal to increase the number of college graduates to meet the economic, social, and civic demands of a prosperous nation.

“Congratulations! In five short years, College Promise has become a national movement with bipartisan support across hundreds of communities. We are proud to have transformed educational opportunity and affordability into the broader imperative to increase college and career success with direct Promise pathways, proven results, and the momentum to keep progressing,” said Eduardo Padrón, Honorary Chair of the College Promise National Advisory Board.

College Promise is introducing students, families, and school counselors to the hundreds of programs available across the nation. The 2020 update to the College Promise Program Catalog, released today, provides useful information about each program including its eligibility requirements, the college(s) attached to the program, any support services provided, and whether a student must attend college full time to receive the scholarship.

As the Promise movement has grown over the past five years, so has evidence of its impact. As Promise programs gain maturity, research validates their significant impact in bolstering completion rates and reduction of student loan default rates. In a recent pilot study by Texas A&M researchers, Promise programs were shown to increase graduation rates by 45% and decrease default rates by 19%.

“Our partners in business, government, higher education are crucial to this movement’s success, yet this exponential growth would not have been possible without our philanthropic supporters — including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Ascendium, The Kresge Foundation, and The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The incredible progress of the last five years is due to our shared commitment to helping more students succeed. Together, we are making college more affordable, preparing our workforce for the future, and strengthening our economy,” said Martha Kanter, CEO of College Promise.

In celebration of our students, College Promise will host a Student Success Webinar Series throughout the month of September. A full list of events is available at, along with registration information for interested students.

About College Promise

College Promise is a national, nonpartisan initiative to build broad public support for accessible, affordable, quality Promise programs across the United States. Promise programs enable hard working students to complete a college degree or certificate by offering a student-centric framework that balances no-cost tuition strategies alongside meaningful student support services. Through partnerships with community colleges and universities, as well as leaders in education, business, nonprofit, government, and philanthropy, College Promise empowers stakeholders to enact solutions that are proven to boost student outcomes. College Promise is a program of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

Information About College Promise:
Rosye Cloud
202 569 3000

Press Contact:
Michelle Cooper

SOURCE College Promise

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