San Mateo, California – The San Mateo County Community College District announced today that applications are now open for the Promise Scholars Program for the 2021-2022 academic year at Cañada College in Redwood City, College of San Mateo in San Mateo and Skyline College in San Bruno. The Promise Scholars Program offers up to three years of scholarship and comprehensive support services for first-time, full-time students. The Program aims to address barriers that students face in both accessing and succeeding in higher education by easing the financial burden of attending college through fee waivers, textbook credit and monthly transportation incentives. The application for the fall 2021 Promise Scholars Program is open on WebSMART, and prospective students can find information about eligibility and applying to the program on the Promise Scholars Program webpage. Students must first apply to the college. This unique program recently received a grant of $2 million from County of San Mateo Measure K Funds to expand the program to 2,500 students districtwide.
The Promise Scholars Program is a full replication of the evidence-based and highly successful City University of New York (CUNY) Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) model. The model includes specific requirements for student-to-counselor ratios (150 to 1) providing more focused and dedicated academic counseling for students and benchmarks the student must meet in terms of academic planning and career exploration. The model was chosen due its ability to double graduation rates within three years for participating students according to longitudinal data.
“Apply now, fill out your FAFSA or Dream Act application and get your scholarship,” said Aaron McVean, Vice Chancellor, Educational Services and Planning.
The program is proving to increase graduation rates at all three colleges. The Fall 2018 Promise Scholars Program cohort have earned degrees above the historical comparison 2-year rate at each campus, doubling the comparison rate at CSM and quadrupling the rate at Skyline College. When considering Promise Scholars Program students who also earned certificates or transferred without degree, the overall 2-year completion rates are 15% at Cañada College, 20% at CSM, and 30% at Skyline College.
The Promise Scholars Program is funded through the generosity of many community and corporate donors, support from the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees and the County of San Mateo Measure K Funds.
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