Oakland Promise Scholarship


To fill financial gaps and minimize financial barriers for Oakland students, we will provide need-based college scholarships to all qualifying students from low-income backgrounds. Students at 2-year and technical colleges will receive up to $1,000 per year while students at 4-year colleges will receive up to $4,000 per year. We will roll out school by school, contingent on funding.  Additionally, partnerships with local colleges, nonprofits, and scholarship providers will generate additional support to ensure students graduate ready for success in a career of their choice.

2017-18 Oakland Promise schools:  Oakland High School, Coliseum College Prep Academy, Castlemont High School

2018 Oakland Promise Scholarship

Why this strategy?

The gap between the cost of college and financial aid is typically one-third of a low-income family’s income. With financial aid, annual scholarships help students stay in school and reduce their debt load.

1. The cost of college is increasing while the amount of financial aid students receive is on the decline.
2. We will provide financial assistance to reduce the amount of student’s personal financial burden and unsubsidized loans.
3. Financial assistance includes: support on financial aid applications, as well as the Oakland Promise scholarship and support in applying to additional scholarship money.

How will it work?*

Students at schools with Future Centers will be eligible for needs-based scholarships (ranging from $1,000 to $16,000), tied to minimum performance requirements.


Q: What makes this different from other programs?

A: The Oakland Promise scholarships are 1) offered by East Bay College Fund, an experienced scholarship and college success organization that has a graduation rate that is 4x the national average, 2) available throughout college, (many scholarships are only offered for the first year), 3) matched and supported by partner colleges committed to Oakland’s students’ success, 4) scholarships are tied to participation in the persistence services known to help students succeed.

Q: Who can get an Oakland Promise scholarship?

A: Oakland Unified School District seniors attending an Oakland Promise pilot school may apply for the Promise scholarship through East Bay College Fund – the 2016 deadline is March 8.

Q: Which high schools are the pilot Promise schools in 2016?

A: Oakland High School and Coliseum College Prep Academy

Q: What are the Promise scholarship requirements?

A: Oakland residency and a minimum of four years of enrollment in OUSD, 90% school attendance, minimum 2.0 GPA for community college and 2.7 GPA for 4-year college, completion of FAFSA or Dream Application, and demonstration of community service and/or leadership. In addition, applicants must show they have applied to multiple colleges and additional scholarships.

Q: Can you still get a scholarship from East Bay College Fund if you are not attending a school with Oakland High or Coliseum College Prep Academy?

A: For the first few years, students can still apply for the East Bay College Fund’s traditional scholarships–Great Expectations and Launch Scholarships.

Q: How much is the Promise scholarship?

Qualifying students will receive $1,000 to $16,000. Expected awards: Up to $3,000 for community college and career and technical training, up to $16,000 for 4-year colleges, and up to $11,000 for students transferring from community college to a 4-year school within three years. (Scholarship amounts may change based on available funding.)

Q: Which colleges can you use the scholarship for?

A: Scholarships may be used at any public or private not for profit college in the United States. Students attending colleges that are primary Oakland Promise partners will likely receive more scholarship funds than those attending colleges who do not have an official partnership with East Bay College Fund to support students. Many Northern California public and private colleges are primary partners as well as many Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Q: How can I donate towards a scholarship?

A: Individual donors are anticipated to continue to be a major part of the effort, for more information contact, Diane Dodge, Executive Director of East Bay College Fund 510-836-8900.


*2016 is a pilot year, details may change in ensuing years