AlamoPROMISE Program

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A well-educated workforce is the key to a prosperous San Antonio community.

The Alamo Colleges District and its partners are committed to ending poverty, enhancing economic and social mobility and meeting workforce demands in our City by joining forces to help more students complete college and obtain the necessary skills to hold high-wage, high-demand jobs.

Through AlamoPROMISE, the Alamo Colleges District is working to ensure access to education for all local students by providing for the first two years of tuition to eligible graduating senior from the San Antonio area.

The AlamoPROMISE eliminates financial barriers to higher education, making a college degree a reality.

1. What is AlamoPROMISE?

The Alamo Colleges District and its public and private sector partners are working to deliver on a promise of the first two years of no-cost community college for eligible students in San Antonio and Bexar County who are seeking associate degrees, transfer, certifications and/or job training.

This program would be a last-dollar scholarship enhanced along with college navigation and career pathway support. AlamoPROMISE last-dollar scholarship funding fills the gap between a student’s financial aid award and the cost of tuition and fees. 

2. Why AlamoPROMISE?

An investment in college education is an investment in the prosperity and vitality of our community.

San Antonio is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the country, yet the percentage of San Antonio’s population in poverty was the second highest among the top 25 largest U.S. metro areas in 2017. American Community Survey estimates show a 14.5 percent poverty rate for the San Antonio metro area, which includes New Braunfels, placing it second after Detroit (14.6 percent). Many people in Bexar County do not have the necessary skills and credentials for the living-wage jobs available in our robust economy.

Fewer students are attending college with high school graduates enrolled in higher education the following fall at 45.1% in 2016, down from 51% in 2010. Gains in college attainment have been gradual with the population of adults 25+ and over with an associate’s degree or higher at 33.3% in 2016 compared to 30.7% in 2010; attainment rates for the state are at 42% and 45% for the nation. With approximately 275,000 adults 25 years old or older with some college and no degrees and 169,000 13-18-year-olds in Bexar County, there is unique and urgent opportunity to change the community and address systemic challenges through higher education.

The average associate degree graduate from the Alamo Colleges District — the largest provider of higher education in South Texas consisting of five public two-year community colleges — will see a $9,400 earnings increase each year compared to a high school graduate in Texas. Alamo Colleges students will receive a stream of higher future earnings that will continue to grow throughout their working lives.

Driven by the need to increase college affordability and higher education attainment within the community and to provide greater access to economic mobility by meeting workforce demands, AlamoPROMISE will provide a comprehensive last-dollar scholarship enhanced with college navigation and career pathway support for all students meeting eligibility criteria at participating Bexar County high schools.

3. Who qualifies for AlamoPROMISE?

AlamoPROMISE will be available to graduating seniors at participating high schools in Bexar County.

The graduating senior class of 2020 is intended to be the first group of AlamoPROMISE Scholars. Students will be required to meet deadlines for admissions applications, financial aid application, registration, and meet other program eligibility requirements.

More details on participating high schools and detailed program eligibility requirements are coming soon.

4. When does AlamoPROMISE start?

We look forward to welcoming the first AlamoPROMISE Scholars by Summer 2020.

5. How will the AlamoPROMISE program be funded?

A sustainable funding model is being developed.

College Promise programs are funded based on the resources available to the specific community or state it serves, which can include one or more of the following: state appropriations, business contributions, and philanthropic gifts.

AlamoPROMISE will seek a combination of sustainable and continuous public and private funding sources. 

Give to AlamoPROMISE Today

State Appropriations, Business Contributions, Philanthropic Gifts, Public Funding, Private Funding

6. Are there other College Promise programs in existence?

All across the nation, there are states and localities building support for College Promise programs that allow students to start and complete a community college education without taking on mountains of student debt.

History of Promise Campaigns

At the launch of the College Promise Campaign in September 2015, there were only about 50 free college programs in the nation.

As of May 2017, there were 242 total Promise programs in the United States across 44 states, and statewide momentum is growing with state-programs in 19 states.

Dallas Promise

The College Promise model has been utilized and tailored at the local and state level by various communities, including Texas through the Dallas County Promise which has partners from school districts, four-year universities, nonprofits, and the private sector all collaborating to provide assistance ranging from food pantries, transportation, mentoring, and other services to ensure that students are well-supported.

Dallas County Promise participating high schools are held accountable for college and career preparation to ensure that students are prepared to enter college and earn credit hours. 

College Promise programs across the U.S. tend to share the goals of increasing access to college, building a college-going culture in schools and the local community, and enhancing the local community and economic development.

While individual programs vary, each is guided by the following:
  • Fund a community college education for every eligible student, advancing on the path to earn a degree, a certificate, and/or credits that transfer to a four-year university
  • Prepare students for the workforce without the burden of unmanageable college debt
  • Provide the first two years of community college education at no cost

Steering Committee

  • Kevin Voelkel, President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing  Texas
  • Peter John Holt, CEO, Holt Cat
  • Jeff Goldhorn, Executive Director, Education Service Center Region 20
  • Richard Perez, President/CEO, San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
  • Diane Sanchez, President/CEO, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Cynthia Matson, President, Texas A&M University – San Antonio
  • Taylor Eighmy, President, The University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Ryan Ludgalia-Hollon, Executive Director, Up Partnership
  • Lloyd Verstuyft, Superintendent, Southwest ISD
  • Pedro Martinez, Superintendent, San Antonio ISD
  • Brian Woods, Superintendent, Northside ISD
  • Jeanette Ball, Superintendent, Judson ISD
  • Kate Rogers, Outreach and Civic Engagement, Charles Butt Foundation
  • Rebecca Brune, President, San Antonio Area Foundation
  • Romanita Matta-Barrera, Executive Director, SA Works

Read the Steering Committee Press Release

Additional Information

Informational Flyer (PDF) Key Facts (PDF) Presentation (PDF)
 Links to AlamoPROMISE Media Coverage
 Links to College Promise Info