Graduates of Seattle public high schools now have access to two years (or up to 90 credits) of tuition-free college at Seattle Colleges thanks to the newly expanded Seattle Promise program.
This year’s class of 399 Seattle Promise students, a 43 percent increase from last year, is projected to grow exponentially as the program expands from six Seattle public high schools to all 17 schools.
In November 2017, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an Executive Order to create the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program, which builds off Seattle Colleges’ successful 13th Year Promise Scholarship. In November 2018, Seattle voters overwhelmingly passed the Mayor’s Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise levy, which expanded Seattle Promise to include graduates from all Seattle public high schools.
“We want all students to know and believe college is a possibility,” said Seattle Colleges’ chancellor Shouan Pan. “Through wraparound services, Seattle Promise gives all students, especially first generation and underserved youth, a real and equitable pathway for college education and success in the world of work.”
“On my first full day in office, we created the Seattle Promise College Tuition Program to provide our students two free years at any of our Seattle Colleges,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Access to post-secondary education is so critical to ensuring we close the opportunity gap in our region, put more young people on a path to good-paying jobs, and create a more affordable future for our children. I’m grateful to Chancellor Pan and Superintendent Juneau for their commitment to making the Seattle Promise a reality.”
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 regardless of GPA, income or country of birth.
“This combination is what sets the program apart,” said Melody McMillian, Seattle Promise program director. “Students are met where they have need, supported by peers who are also going through the program, and guided individually by an advisor all along the way. The design is deliberately holistic and is improving student success.”
Seattle Promise 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.
Applications for the Seattle Promise class of fall 2020 are now open until Feb. 15, 2020. Seattle Public School students are encouraged to start the application process in the fall of their senior year.
“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.”
Visit the Seattle Promise website at seattlecolleges.edu/promise to learn more.