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Examining How College Promise Programs Promote Student Academic and Financial Readiness

Millett, Catherine M.; Saunders, Stephanie; Fishtein, Daniel
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report, ETS Policy Information Center Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Promise Programs, College Readiness, Program Design, College Tuition, College Costs, Access to Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Scholarships, Educational Finance, Student Financial Aid, Student Experience, Eligibility, Educational Equity, Sustainability, College Outcomes, Academic Outcomes


Currently college promise programs are proliferating in number at the local and state levels. Most promise programs provide financial resources beyond conventional state and federal student aid to students who live in designated places and meet local‐ or state‐defined eligibility criteria. There is an immense variety of models and funding designs for these programs. In this study, we conducted a rigorous content analysis of the public web sites for a diverse subsample of 35 promise programs to explore how college promise programs promote student academic and financial readiness. Although our analysis made it clear that there is more to learn about promise programs, including understanding general administrative processes and program operations, we highlight several design and implementation considerations that may increase the capacity of these programs to promote equity in higher education access and success.

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