NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED539766
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 15
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
State and Community-Based Promise Programs: Early Commitments of Financial Assistance for College
Blanco, Cheryl D.
Pathways to College Network
It is a difficult time for policymakers, business leaders, and education leaders to think about ways to increase the numbers of students graduating from high school prepared for college and the work force when their focus is on reducing budgets. But now is the best time to plan for the future. Now is the time to explore programs that may bear fruit in five or six years and stem the flow of students out the side door of high school and into the welfare system and low-paying jobs. An earlier policy brief on individual development accounts (IDAs) (see "Individual Development Accounts for Higher Education") published by the Pathways to College Network addressed alternatives that may put more students, especially those from low-income and first-generation families, on the path to college, in part by providing them with assurance they will have funds to pay for college. This brief focuses on other approaches to giving students such assurances: special financial aid initiatives that are often referred to as early commitment of financial aid or promise programs. The term "early commitment of financial aid" is used here as an umbrella descriptor for a wide variety of programs that target low-income students while they are in middle or high school. In many instances, these initiatives make a promise of financial assistance for college in return for a commitment from the student and his/her family that the student will do certain things, such as maintain a minimum grade point average and be a good public citizen. This paper describes the different approaches to early commitment programs, provides examples of existing programs, and suggests questions or topics that policymakers and other leaders might find helpful in understanding whether such programs are the best options for their constituents. (Contains 11 endnotes.)
Pathways to College Network. Available from: Institute for Higher Education Policy. 1825 K Street Suite 720, Washington, DC 20006. Tel: 202-861-8223; Fax: 202-861-9307; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Education Resources Institute, Pathways to College Network