The Promise movement has hit the big time as President Barack Obama opened the New Year by announcing his college affordability program — dubbed America’s College Promise — in the Volunteer State (in a nod to the ballyhooed Tennessee Promise). His plan called for students to reach generous eligibility standards to qualify and to maintain a level of success in order to keep the scholarship. “I’d like to see the first two years of community college free for anybody who is willing to work for it,” President Obama said in a video shot in Air Force One. “It’s something we can accomplish and something that will train our work force so we can compete with anyone in the world,” he added.
By late summer, nine community colleges in eight states — most notably the Community College of Philadelphia and the Milwaukee Area Technical College — had announced new Promise-type programs on their own. President Obama also doubled down on his America’s College Promise, naming an advisory panel headed by Dr. Jill Biden and his former Undersecretary of Education Martha Kanter. The community college free-tuition effort also took the name Heads Up America.
Below is a list of programs supported by community colleges or community college systems.