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Home >  Community >  College News >  News Archive >  Promise Update

Promise Exceeds Expectations

March 14, 2018

The inaugural year of the Folsom Lake College/Rancho Cordova College Promise program has been a resounding success. The innovative scholarship program provided 110 of Rancho Cordova's Class of 2017 with their first year at Folsom Lake College fee-free.

To be eligible for the Promise program, students had to be a current resident of Rancho Cordova, graduate from high school or receive a GED during the 2016-17 academic year, and enroll full-time (at least 12 units) at Folsom Lake College for Fall 2017.

"I come from a low income family and thinking about how I was going to pay for college was tough," said student Anna Sarkisyan. "When my high school teacher told me about the Promise program, I knew this was such a good opportunity and signing up for the program was really simple."

Each student received a maximum of $579 in aid per semester to cover their tuition and enrollment fees. For the 83% of Promise students that qualified for the California College Promise Grant (formerly the BOG Fee Waiver) which covered the majority of their fees, those remaining Promise funds were then able to be used to purchase textbooks and class supplies through the FLC College Store.

"There are many students like me who don't have the money for books," said Sarkisyan. "Thanks to this program, I was able to get my books right away, which really supported the start of my college education. I want other students to have that, as well."

Students had to successfully pass 6 of their 12 unit fall class load to receive continued funding for the spring semester. Of the initial Promise group, 85% enrolled for the Spring 2018 semester, compared to 81% of all first-time, full-time FLC students and 62% of all FLC students who persisted from fall to spring.

This inaugural group was also more ethnically diverse than the general student population with 58% identifying as non-white. Many of the students who benefited from the program were also the first generation in their families to go to college. The City of Rancho Cordova hopes that by removing some of the economic barriers to pursuing higher education, this will promote a college-going culture in its growing community. "This program is letting me save money now so I can transfer to a four-year university to complete my education," said student Veronica Marcos. "I don't know what I would have done without it."

Students in Rancho Cordova Promise program

The Rancho Cordova City Council allocated $100,000 from the Community Enhancement Fund (FY 16/17) for the first year of the program. $37,656 of the original investment was expended for the first semester. As interest in the program exceeded initial projections, the City has increased its commitment to $150,000 for the second year. With the forecasted implementation of the statewide AB 19 California College Promise program, Folsom Lake College is working closely with the City to explore a variety of options to continue this successful partnership and provide additional support for Rancho Cordova residents.

The application for students to receive funding for the 2018-19 academic year is open now through March 31, 2018 at: www.flc.losrios.edu/promise.