The College Promise Campaign Enters Fifth Year of Operations

Today, more than half of our nation's governors and their legislatures have adopted or proposed making America's community colleges tuition-free for their residents. Several have also implemented free-tuition programs for their state's four-year colleges and universities.

Today, the College Promise Campaign is hosting A National Symposium Focused on Building Sustainable Promise Programs, at The Army and Navy Club, highlighting the need for validated impact. Now in its fifth year, the Campaign brings partners together from the public and private sectors to provide College Promise programs with the know-how and resources to become financially sustainable. A new report, College Promises To Keep: A Playbook for Achieving College Promise Financial  Sustainability, provides the data, analysis, and findings to support College Promise leaders throughout the country. Prominent College Promise policy, research, program, and student leaders are speaking at the symposium today, including Mr. Randy Boyd, President, University of Tennessee (Interim); Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President & CEO, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; students and directors from Say Yes Buffalo, Tennessee Reconnect, and the Dallas County Promise; and scholars, from ETS, WestEd, and Research For Action.

“In the 21st Century, we must build College Promise programs that are lasting and dependable. A College Promise is a commitment to build-high-impact, financially sustainable Promise programs not just for one cohort of students, but for millions more Americans as our future unfolds. By working together, we aim to build a college-going culture that will enable a stronger, more prosperous country for the 21st Century and beyond.”

Behind every College Promise, lies a hardworking student, who has risen above many obstacles in order to achieve the American dream.

Rosye Cloud, Executive Vice President, College Promise Campaign

-- Martha Kanter, Executive Director, College Promise Campaign

In order to build a sustainable college-going culture, improve student, postsecondary, and community outcomes, and reach full impact, a College Promise must be kept. Today, more than half of our nation’s governors and their legislatures have adopted or proposed making America’s community colleges tuition-free for their residents. Several have also implemented free-tuition programs for their state’s four-year colleges and universities. This rapid growth of the College Promise movement across the country confirms that stakeholders from education, business, government, philanthropy, and nonprofit organizations are investing in the creation and expansion of the College Promise, but some programs struggle with balancing available funding against growing demand for the program.

Supported by the College Promise Research Network and ETS, the College Promise Campaign designed the Financial Sustainability Survey with two goals in mind: 1) To capture a national landscape for Promise funding information; and 2) To disseminate this knowledge to facilitate partners’ understanding of best practices and tools for improving College Promise financing, quality, and outcomes.

“The ECMC Foundation is excited to leverage the results of this study and the College Promises to Keep Playbook for policy, research and program leaders to inform leaders of the more than 320 local College Promise programs in 47 states, and 29 statewide Promise programs now underway. The College Promise Campaign has been catalyzing the College Promise movement since 2015 and these results offer Promise leaders a new set of resources to grow high-quality Promise programs throughout the country. The playbook will also help state leaders strengthen their state college affordability, equity, and success agendas for their residents. As we implement a shared framework to drive equity outcomes for college, career and community success, we are learning that building financially sustainable College Promise programs is essential. We are thrilled to support this work to help inform building, scaling, and sustaining College Promise programs nationwide.”

– Sarah Belnick, Senior Program Director, College Success, ECMC Foundation

For More Information: 

About the College Promise Campaign

The College Promise Campaign is a national, non-partisan initiative to build broad public support for funding two or more years of higher education. We want the first two years of college – at a minimum – to become as universal, free, and accessible as high school has been for nearly a century! Our Campaign encourages visionary leaders throughout our nation to use their ingenuity and persistence to put College Promise programs in place, enabling students to complete their college degrees and certificates without the burden of unmanageable debt. 

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Media Contact:

Lupe Rojas

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Categories: Economy, Continuing Education

Tags: 2 Gen, College Promise, Economic Mobility, Economic Opportunity, Free College, Higher Education

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The College Promise Campaign empowers community colleges and their education, business, government and philanthropy partners to enact solutions for students to graduate from college, and build rewarding lives in our nation's communities and states.