Inside Higher Ed: Promise Programs in California

Seniors receive Oakland Promise scholarships last year. (Photo: Hasain Rasheed)

California legislatures are working towards making college education free, or at least community college.  In the works is a bill that will make the first year of community college free. However, how will this affect other Promise Programs that already exist in the state?

The Legislature is backing up existing programs in Long Beach, Oakland and Los Angeles, adding that these programs work in tandem with each other, rather than competing with one another.

For example, the Oakland Promise, which works with East Bay College Fund, doesn’t just help students with college expenses but is also offering to open college savings accounts for children in the school district.

“All the studies will show that money makes a certain degree of difference, but it’s the persistent support and the advising, too,” said Diane Dodge, executive director of the East Bay College Fund. “When you’re in poverty, just because you’re in college that doesn’t mean it’s any easier … supporting students through four or five or six years is a lot.”

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