Designing Equitable Promise Programs

The College Promise Campaign is a national, non-partisan initative to build broad public support for funding the first two years of higher education for hard-working students starting in American's community colleges. While most Promise programs are local, over 20 statewide Promise programs have taken the concept to scale. However, all Promise programs, and perhaps statewide Promise programs in particular, reflect a range of tradeoffs. The significant variation in these programs reflects contraints and tradeoffs that can disproportionately affect students of color, students from low-income households, undocumented students, and other undersrved populations as well as the postsecondary institutions that they attend. Based on a comprehensive policy scan of all statewide Promise programs as well as in-depth research of four statewide Promise programs, this document spotlights equity concerns. It also provides considerations for state policymakers as they design and implement Promise programs that advance equity. 

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March 2020