- The Arizona Board of Regents is about this spring to roll out the Arizona Promise Program, a new assured scholarship program for low-income college students meant to extend the quantity of highschool graduates within the state who instantly enroll in faculty.
- Qualifying college students can obtain as much as the price of in-state tuition and charges, after counting different monetary help, for as much as eight semesters. This system covers enrollment on the state’s three public four-year universities — Arizona State College, Northern Arizona College and the College of Arizona.
- This system drew inspiration from different state-run scholarships, together with the long-running Oklahoma’s Promise program and the Georgia HOPE Scholarship. To qualify, college students should be Arizona residents and graduate from highschool with a minimal 2.5 GPA. They need to additionally full the Free Utility for Federal Pupil Help, qualify for the utmost federal Pell Grant award, be accepted into one of many collaborating schools and be enrolling full time, for the primary time.
Arizona joins a number of different states in implementing scholarship packages known as promise packages. Not like another well-known promise packages, such because the one in Tennessee, Arizona’s just isn’t beginning out by protecting tuition for 2 years at group and technical schools however is as an alternative centered on four-year universities.
It comes as state officers search to spice up faculty attainment. On the present price, solely 17% of immediately’s ninth graders in Arizona may have a four-year diploma by 2029, in accordance with an evaluation from the Board of Regents. By comparability, the Bureau of Labor Statistics discovered that 48% of recent jobs anticipated between 2019 and 2029 would require some degree of postsecondary schooling.
This system was created by the Arizona Board of Regents and signed into legislation by the Arizona Legislature earlier this yr. Qualifying college students who’re already enrolled in one of many lined universities will begin receiving awards this spring.
Roughly 15,000 college students at present enrolled on the three universities obtain the utmost Pell Grant award, in accordance with officers. It might value about $57 million per yr to implement this system for that many college students.
However this system might be applied over the subsequent 4 years, beginning with 3,700 eligible first-year college students this spring who first enrolled in fall 2021. Each first-year college students and sophomores might be eligible subsequent yr, with lessons added every subsequent yr.
This system particularly ensures tuition and charges for college kids.
“We perceive that by attaching the phrase ‘assure’ to this system, it raises prices,” mentioned John Arnold, Arizona Board of Regents government director.
It is vital to offer college students and their households consistency for his or her faculty planning, Arnold mentioned. For a lot of, that planning begins in center faculty.
“When you might have an eighth grader deciding what highschool goes to appear like for them, they need to know that in the event that they do their half, they will go to varsity,” he mentioned. “We would like folks to know this is not first come, first serve.”
The Arizona Board of Regents will market this system to highschool college students this spring. The board partnered with the state’s Division of Financial Safety and is working to succeed in households enrolled within the Supplemental Diet Help Program and college students getting free and reduced-price faculty meals, mentioned Arnold.
Ought to the brand new promise program reach elevating faculty commencement for this inhabitants, the board wish to ultimately develop eligibility to switch or on-line college students, Arnold mentioned. He would not need college students to view attending a two-year faculty as one thing which will penalize them down the road.
“We now have sturdy partnerships with the group schools on this state,” Arnold mentioned. “We actually encourage college students to take their first two years at a group faculty.”
Correction: A earlier model of this temporary misstated the variety of college students who might be eligible for the Arizona Promise Program within the spring time period. It has been up to date to say 3,700 first-year college students might be eligible.
This temporary has additionally been up to date with new details about this system’s scheduled implementation and with info clarifying its value.