COLLEGE HELP: Seattle Promise’s expansion embraced, as application season continues

(WSB photo, South Seattle College, 2018)

One of the achievements touted by Mayor Jenny Durkan in her not-running-again announcement back on Monday was expansion of the Seattle Promise program, which now offers two years of community college to any Seattle Public Schools graduating senior, and is still accepting applications for next year. The program has its roots at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Puget Ridge, which Durkan has visited twice to celebrate the program – in 2017 on her second day in office, and in November 2018 after voters approved the Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise Levy to expand the program. It was originally known as the 13th Year Promise when it launched at SSC more than a decade ago. It offers two-year Seattle Colleges (three campuses including SSC) scholarships to students once they’ve exhausted other private and public funding possibilities, and it now not only covers graduates of all SPS high schools, but also all Seattle Colleges campuses. The city says 846 Seattle Promise students are now enrolled in the SC system – 699 first-year students and 147 second-year students. SSC tells WSB that 225 of them are studying here, 145 first-year students, 80 in their second year. If you are, or know, a Class of 2021 student who wants to join them – you can find out more here.

3 Replies to "COLLEGE HELP: Seattle Promise's expansion embraced, as application season continues"

  • Heartless? December 9, 2020 (5:35 pm)

    This is the first I’ve heard of “once they’ve exhausted other private and public funding possibilities.”I was under the impression it was offered to ALL students, and did not require financial need to be shown. But then again that seems rather rich, so perhaps I am mistaken? Can anyone clarify?

    • WSB December 9, 2020 (6:32 pm)

      We have reported that multiple times before and it’s also stated on the explanatory pages. See for example “What Is Seattle Promise?” here.

  • Math teacher December 10, 2020 (7:12 am)

    @Heartless – a student does not need to have financial need. But if a student’s situation does qualify for free tuition or grants from the Federal or State governments, the program wants those to kick in before the city funding. City tax dollars do not displace Federal programs.

    Students are not required to use family resources first.

    If a student applies for and receives a small private scholarship, such as $500, I have heard that that money goes into the Colleges’ accounting system in a way that will allow the money to be used for textbooks, lab supplies, etc.

    If a student has been awarded a large, generous scholarship from a private fund, such as, then the Promise scholarship is unneeded. The private scholarship is applied before the city scholarship. Down the road, I wonder whether some private scholarship groups will change their procedures so their funds help students pay UW tuition.

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