News

Seattle Promise Expands to All Seattle Public High School Students; Apply Now

Nov. 21, 2019

Contact:
Barb Childs
Executive Director of Communications & Recruitment
206.934.4087
Barbara.Childs@seattlecolleges.edu

SEATTLE – 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."

City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools and Seattle Colleges logos - Seattle Promise partners


Seattle Colleges is Washington state’s largest college district, with more than 46,000 students enrolled each year. It is composed of Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, South Seattle College, and six specialty centers. Seattle Colleges offers more than 135 workforce education and training programs that lead to bachelor’s degrees in high-growth industries, associate degrees in various disciplines, certificates in professional-technical programs, and transfer degrees to universities throughout the United States.

In 2018, Seattle Colleges partnered with the city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools to launch Seattle Promise with the aim of increasing the number of public high school graduates earning certificates, credentials, and degrees.