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More Than Half of Seattle Public Schools Graduating Seniors Apply for Seattle Promise

SEATTLE —The day after Valentine’s Day was even sweeter for more than half of Seattle Public High Schools graduates who applied for two years (or up to 90 credits) of tuition-free college in fall 2020 through Seattle Promise.

Seattle Promise provides tuition, funding for school-related expenses for those with need, and individual guidance and advising from high school through a student’s first two years of college (or up to 90 credits) regardless of GPA, income, ability or country of birth. The program covers any remaining tuition balance at one of the Seattle Colleges (North, Central or South) after other public funding, grants or scholarships a student may be eligible to receive have been applied. Seattle voters passed the Families, Education, Preschool and Promise levy to support the program in November 2018.

“We want all students to know and believe college is a real possibility,” said Seattle Colleges’ Chancellor Shouan Pan. “Our wraparound services give all Seattle Promise students, especially first generation and underserved youth, an equitable pathway for college education and success in the world of work.”

Seattle Colleges received nearly 1,800 applications for the college scholarship and success program by the Feb. 15 midnight deadline, marking the first major milestone in the program’s expansion from six Seattle public high schools to all 17 schools.

“We created Seattle Promise because we believe in our young people and we believe in our students,” said Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan. “We know that access to free, high-quality education makes a tangible and positive improvement in our young people’s lives. That’s why I’m so proud that nearly 1,800 students have expressed interest in Seattle Promise for the 2020-2021 academic year.”

“As we celebrate the growth in applications, we now look to helping students and families complete their financial aid applications.” said Melody McMillan, Seattle Promise program director. “Seattle Promise specialists are at each high school to assist students and families as they complete federal and state college financial aid applications. Our goal is to see all students progress through the application stage to our first event welcome event in May. Once students get here for Readiness Academy, they really begin to embrace college is possible for themselves,” said McMillan

“We are building a partnership with our students, families, our education systems and city.  I want all of our graduates to see themselves in meaningful and fulfilling careers, earning living-wages in a city they love,” said Seattle Public Schools superintendent Denise Juneau. “Seattle Promise is one of the programs that is going to help us get them there.”

Missed the Deadline? Other Funding Options Available at Seattle Colleges

Applications for the Seattle Promise class of fall 2020 are now closed; however, other scholarship and funding options to attend Seattle Colleges are available. Apply to the college of your choice — North Seattle College, Seattle Central College or South Seattle College — and visit the financial aid office for more information.

Applications for the class of 2021 open Oct. 1, 2020. Join the Seattle Promise mailing list to receive updates about next year’s Seattle Promise program.

More information at

Seattle Promise, launched in 2018, is a partnership with the City of Seattle’s Department of Education and Early Learning and Seattle Public Schools. The program, primarily funded by the city of Seattle’s Family, Education Preschool and Promise (FEPP) Levy with additional private support through the Seattle Colleges Foundation, is focused on providing college access, success, and completion with a mission to build a local thriving college-going culture that creates a workforce ready for our region’s careers.

Seattle Colleges is Washington state’s largest college district, with more than 46,000 students enrolled each year. It is composed of Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and six specialty centers. Seattle Colleges offers more than 135 workforce education and training programs that lead to bachelor’s degrees in high-growth industries, associate degrees in various disciplines, certificates in professional-technical programs, and transfer degrees to universities throughout the United States.

Promise Partner Logos. Seattle Colleges DEEL, Seattle Schools