The SBCC College Promise has given local students the opportunity to go to college for free so they can further their education and life goals instead of their student debt.
As long as students meet the requirements made by the program, they get their enrollment fees and books covered for the first two years regardless of their performance in high school and their income.
When revealing that she almost took a semester off to save up for school, Leslie Marin, sociology and criminology major, said that it was the promise that made it possible for her to start college straight from high school.
Marin was featured in a video made by the foundation, where she was given the chance to tell her story and how the promise has changed her life.
The video was made to convey the essence of the program, showing what the promise does. Last fall, the foundation ended up winning the national “Promise Story” video competition, hosted by the nonprofit Heads Up America, based in Washington, D.C.
“I definitely think it’s a great opportunity to take away every excuse for students to not attend college,” expressed Marin. “I definitely think people should continue funding the promise.”
According to Geoff Green, the chief executive officer of the foundation, it is his main goal is to gather enough money to fund the next few years of program.
“Our plan is to raise the first three years as quick as we can,” said Green. “That buys us the time to figure out the long term sustainability plan, which will absolutely involve an endowment of some kind.”
Over the past five years, there has been an average of 805 local students, per year, who have enrolled at City College. In the fall of 2016, there were 756 eligible and enrolled students for the promise. Roughly 66% of those students also received the Board of Governors fee waiver. Similar to the promise, the waiver allows student’s enrollment fees to be covered by the state because they are close to the poverty level, and unable to afford college. However, they don’t cover the cost of books, which is where the promise comes in to help.
“It’s not actually free,” said Green. “It’s time, it’s commitment. We do require full time student status. You do have to complete. It’s a commitment we’re asking for, it’s just not cash.”
The promise’s investment in City College students has been a huge success so far. It will not only help those enrolled, but those student’s families, the community, and future generations.