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Record numbers of Seattle high school graduates are starting college right away and earning degrees and professional credentials critical to securing today's family-wage jobs. Why? Because of the commitment made to them through the Seattle Promise program.
The two year (or up-to 90 credits), tuition-free college access and success program is available to all graduates of Seattle Public High Schools regardless of GPA, income, ability or country of birth.
Principal funding for Seattle Promise comes from the seven-year Families, Education, Preschool and Promise Levy approved by Seattle voters in November of 2018. Levy funding supports two years of free tuition at North Seattle, South Seattle, or Seattle Central Colleges and wraparound services that help students succeed, in addition to a $500/quarter equity scholarship for especially low-income students to assist with college expenses. The program has been noted by news media as a regional and national model to follow. However, there is still need for additional resources.
Added Resources Are Critical to Fully Deliver on Potential
Expanding equity scholarships to more students to help with non-tuition college expenses (which account for roughly three-fourths of the overall costs of attendance, including housing, food, transportation, etc.) is essential. Especially when you consider the facts and figures: 59 percent of Promise students come from families with incomes under $75,000 and 25 percent from families with incomes under $25,000.
Adding resources will also help Seattle Colleges address other unmet needs, such as mentorship and tutoring, from a student population that is more diverse than the high schools students graduated from.