COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Promise program delivered on its promise, according to data shared by the city.
Columbus State Community College, in conjunction with Columbus City Schools, doubled its CCS graduates enrolled at the college through the “free college” partnership between the City of Columbus, Columbus State, CCS and I Know I Can.
One year into the program resulted in 629 Columbus Promise Scholars, a 100% increase from 2021 when 313 CCS students graduated and enrolled at Columbus State. According to a release by the City of Columbus, 78.9% of the Promise Scholars qualify for a full or partial Pell Grant award, a federal financial aid program for low-income students and families.
“The Columbus Promise is off to a strong start,” said Shannon G. Hardin, Columbus City Council President and program champion. “Similar programs typically boost enrollment by 30%, and the Columbus Promise flew past that goal.”
Columbus City Schools saw a 38% increase in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion with the largest year-over-year growth came from Mifflin, South, and Independence high schools. Overall, Ohio saw a small 1.7% increase in FAFSA completion.
The majority of Promise Scholars — 51.8% — identify as Black. 14.5% identify as Hispanic, 5.2% as Asian, and 11.1% as white. The remaining students did not disclose their race.
The total Columbus State enrollment number could reach 714 students. 85 CCS students who have enrolled in Columbus State have partially fulfilled the requirements to become Promise Scholars. They earn full status by the end of the semester.