What Is California College Promise?

California College Promise is an overarching framework for improving college affordability, access, and completion. College Promise programs incentivize college enrollment, persistence, and completion by offering financial, academic, and other support services to students based on where they live or where they attend school.

California College Promise is not simply a mechanism for student financial support. It is a pact between students and the community in which they live. In College Promise programs, education, government, business, philanthropy, and community partners collaborate to create a framework of supports and services to improve college affordability, access, and completion for all students.

The Rise of College Promise

In California and throughout the country, there is rising demand for a college-educated workforce, but the increasing cost of college can impede access to higher education for students from low- and middle-income families. College Promise programs can help address this challenge.

Over the last decade but especially in the last few years, the number of College Promise programs has steadily risen to more than 200 programs in 42 states across the country. In California, there were 23 programs in 2016, and less than one year later, the number increased to 42—the largest number of programs in a single state.

For the most up-to-date map and list of programs, see our programs page.

Meeting a Need

With the increasing momentum around College Promise comes a growing need to offer professional development, technical assistance, and research to the practitioners, policymakers, community members, and families engaged in these efforts. The California College Promise Project (CCPP) was designed to meet this need.