Hundreds of CCS Students Apply for Columbus Promise

Nearly 1,000 students from Columbus City schools have already applied for the Columbus Promise. The program provides a tuition-free education at Columbus State Community College for graduating seniors to pursue an associate’s or other workforce degree.

“The only way to reach our full potential as a city is for everyone to share in our collective success, especially our young people, who deserve every opportunity to succeed in and out of the classroom,” said Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther. . “The Columbus Promise is a tremendous example of this aspiration in action, and I’m so excited to see the program moving forward with so much momentum and enthusiasm from the entire community.”

Funded by a public-private partnership, Columbus Promise leaders and partners have made significant progress during the initiative’s first phase. Of the $9.5 million investment required to support CCS seniors in the Classes of 2022, 2023 and 2024, 96% of the funding is secured. The City of Columbus and the State of Columbus pledged the first $5 million for the program. Additionally, philanthropic and private sector contributors have raised just over $4 million in the past six months, leaving $395,000 for the first phase to be fully funded.

“Removing cost issues for students and families is a game-changer, but ensuring student success requires more,” said Columbus State President David Harrison.

Columbus State plans to work with multiple partners to develop a “learn and earn” program that matches interested Columbus Promise Scholars with part-time positions and paid career-focused internship opportunities.

With up to six semesters covered, the program will also allow part-time students and offer $500 per semester to cover the cost of books and transportation.

Since the initiative launched in November, 1,278 CCS students have completed the FAFSA, representing a 43% increase from 891 submissions last year. Completing the FAFSA is part of the Columbus Promise application, which also requires students to complete an application for the program and the state of Columbus, and qualify for graduation. Of the approximately 1,000 students who applied for the Columbus Promise, approximately 70% met all requirements.

“The numbers we are seeing for FAFSA submissions and Columbus Promise applications reflect the excitement around this wonderful opportunity for our students,” said CCS Superintendent Dr. Talisa Dixon.

With over 700 applications ready for Promise, the program is on track to exceed its goal of 425 students in the first cohort. Students will be supported by dedicated advisors who will help Columbus Promise Scholars complete their degree and find employment upon graduation.

“This first class is essential to test the design of the program, as our hope is to expand it,” Council Chair Shannon G. Hardin said. “I can’t thank our partners enough for the hard work that got this first group into certificates, degrees and a career.”

Area employers from Nationwide, OSU Wexner Medical Center and Mount Carmel Health Systems to Columbia Gas and IGS Energy have shown their support and praise for the Columbus Promise program.

“The Columbus Promise will help cultivate the strong and talented workforce required by a growing region,” said Kenny McDonald, President and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. “The promise is the Columbus method in action. This is another example of leaders coming together across sectors to create a more inclusive economy and future for Columbus. »

Applications for the Columbus Pledge will reopen this month and close on August 15.

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Bonny J. Streater