For many Americans, the thought of college tuition is daunting, but there’s a program sweeping the nation to ease the financial burdens and allow more students to get a higher education.
The College Promise Campaign is a national initiative to build support for funding the first two years of community college. The goal is to make those first two years as universal and free as high school. While it’s a national movement, local communities and states are leading the way to create College Promise programs, which will cover the tuition and fees for eligible, hardworking students who apply.
One of those hard working students who’s benefitted from these programs is Virginia Hughes from Maryville, Tennessee. Due to her family’s financial situation, Virginia was unable to afford college without financial support. Thanks to Tennessee’s College Promise program, Virginia went to Pellissippi State Community College and onto the University of Tennessee, where she earned her degree in Anthropology. Virginia is now the first in her family to graduate from college!
“Tennessee Promise changed my life. I got to live the dream of going to college. Being the first person in my family to ever graduate with a college degree, I have opportunities that I would have never had available to me, had I not had the Tennessee College Promise to help pay for college,” says Virginia.
In 2015, the White House under President Obama launched the Heads Up Campaign to gain support for the national free community college initiative. Many celebrities including Chris Rock, Louis C.K, and of course Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden were involved in getting the word out about this program.
This year Civic Nation, the parent organization for College Promise and Heads Up America launched with the goal of campaigning to raise awareness for and acting on the United States’ most pressing challenges. These organizations are all working together to eliminate the financial burdens of college and implement a national free community college initiative.