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Depicting the Ecosystems of Support and Financial Sustainability for Five College Promise Populations

Millett, Catherine M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report, ETS Policy Evaluation & Research Center Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
College Promise Programs, Postsecondary Education, Adult Students, Nontraditional Students, Veteran Students, Prison Education, Correctional Education, Undocumented Students, Student Financial Aid, Funding, Degree Completion, Financial Support, Debt, Equity, Race, Ethnicity, Academic Support Services


The college promise movement is aimed toward making the attendance and completion of college affordable for eligible Americans in hundreds of local communities and states throughout the United States. Many college promise programs are designed with the intent of enabling students to start and complete college degree and/or postsecondary certificate programs without taking on unmanageable college debt. Two significant issues were examined at the June 2019 symposium Depicting the Ecosystem of Support and Financial Sustainability for Five College Promise Populations, sponsored by Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the College Promise Campaign with the generous support of the ECMC Foundation and the Strada Education Network. First, how would college promise programs be enhanced if they were reconceived with a deeper understanding and intent to accommodate the diversity within the postsecondary student population (traditional-aged students, adults, undocumented students, veterans, and justice-involved students)? Second, how could extant and new funding models be aligned to leverage the financial support needed to develop and implement these subpopulation-targeted ecosystem designs? The symposium united the higher education community with scholars, policy makers, student representatives and other stakeholders to develop comprehensive ecosystems of support for these five subpopulations as they make their way to, through and beyond college. Additional aims were (a) to identify the cross-group connections for use and adaptation in local communities and states and (b) to explore the variety, and knitting together, of funding opportunities for program supports.

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