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QUALIFYING STUDENTS EARN FULL COLLEGE FUNDING THROUGH PROMISE PROGRAMS

News April 19, 2023

Tempe, AZ, (April, 2023) – The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF), in partnership with local City Councils, continues to develop College Promise Programs to provide full funding to students who do not receive enough Federal Student Aid or scholarships to cover the costs of college and unexpected costs of attendance.

In the Spring of 2023, Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) will see Promise Programs initiated in the cities of Mesa, Peoria, and Phoenix. The Town of Queen Creek will launch their program this Fall. Eligible students can access Promise Programs across all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges.

As last-dollar scholarships, Promise Programs cover any remaining tuition costs after Federal Student Aid, grants, and scholarships have been applied in order to fully fund a student for their first two or possibly more years of college. In addition to tuition, Maricopa’s Promise Programs provide a student support stipend to cover expenses including books, transportation, technology, and childcare. Each Promise Program participant receives an academic advisor, a Promise welcome and orientation, career and financial advising, tutoring, counseling, along with other wraparound services.

Through partnerships with Aliento, the Arizona Community Foundation and Chicanos Por la Causa, MCCF has established a promise pathway for Dreamer students: The Dreamer Promise Pathway Scholarship. This scholarship provides full funding, an annual stipend, and support services for Dreamers to enroll in any of the Maricopa Community Colleges. Thirty students who met all of the eligibility criteria have been selected into the first cohort.

“Being an immigrant student means knowing that your dreams will be difficult to achieve,” shares Dreamer Promise Program recipient Lucero. “But thanks to donors like you, everything can be possible… This scholarship allows me to redirect my time towards studying, volunteering, school activities, student organizations, and many more opportunities. Thank you for making my dream come true and for making college possible. Thank you for the great support you give me and thousands of dreamers.”

“The Maricopa County Community College District is proud to lead the way in providing access to affordable, high-quality education for Maricopa County residents,” says Dr. Steven R. Gonzales, Chancellor of the MCCCD. “These partnerships align with our System’s mission in that they work to dismantle the financial barrier that many low-income families face when determining if post-secondary education is within their reach.”

Promise Programs are life-changing scholarships that prioritize supporting under-served communities and removing barriers to college access and academic success. Partnering cities are also strengthened by Promise Programs, as they equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to obtain promising careers that contribute to the local community.

“The MCCF Promise Programs underscore the role the community colleges play in contributing to the wellbeing of the community and ensuring we have a pipeline of successful graduates entering the workforce, who are prepared for 21st century employment,” explains Brian F. Spicker, President and CEO of Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “We are grateful for our partners’ support of the Foundation’s vision to make post-secondary education affordable and accessible.”

The general criteria to qualify for a Promise Program scholarship includes:

Student must be a high school graduate or have obtained a GED

Student must be a current resident of the partner city

Student is a prospective student enrolling full-time in the partner Maricopa Community College

Student must demonstrate financial need per Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Student must maintain a minimum specified GPA at the partner community college

It is the intent of each Promise Program to provide students with the opportunity to attain a post-secondary education without the financial burden. While the underlying structure and basic criteria are the same, each Program has its own agreement with its own nuances and unique flair, depending on the Programs’ constituents.

The City of Mesa has promised $100,000 per year for the next five years. The Town of Queen Creek has promised $15,000 to award student scholarships for the Fall 2023 semester.

“Thank you greatly for allowing me to have this opportunity to attend Mesa Community College on behalf of the Mesa Promise Program,” expresses Louisa, an MCC student. “I am determined to make use of every resource being given to me.”

Using funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), the City of Phoenix has promised $5 million between Spring 2023 – 2025 and the City of Peoria has promised $200,000 between 2022 – 2024.

The first Phoenix Promise cohort launched this Spring 2023 semester. Scholarships were awarded to 818 City of Phoenix resident students pursuing a two-year degree, and enrolled in a minimum of six credit hours, at all 10 colleges. Over 70% of the students are the first in their family to attend college.

Priority at Glendale Community College (GCC) is given to students who enroll in nursing, healthcare, or first responder programs. GCC hosted a virtual welcome orientation on Dec 20th attended by the City of Peoria, GCC, and MCCF.

MCCF will continue to develop partnerships with cities across the county to initiate more Promise Programs and build networks of support to help students to enroll in and complete their post-secondary education.

For more information about individual Promise Programs, including how to apply, visit any Maricopa Community College website.