Ds Scholarship

New scholarship program offers free tuition to some AZ students who enroll in state universities

Thousands of Arizona high school students can now get college tuition free thanks to a new statewide scholarship program.

The Arizona Promise Program will provide scholarships to qualified low-income students to cover tuition and fees in full if they attend one of the three state universities – Arizona State University, University of Arizona, or Northern Arizona University.

The goal is to make higher education more accessible to students from low-income families, a necessary step for a strong future economy in the state.

An estimated 3,800 students currently enrolled at the three campuses are expected to be eligible and funded for the program this spring, according to data from the Board of Trustees.

The overall world of high school students in Arizona is unclear, but last year about 12,400 Arizona students who filled out an application for Free Federal Student Aid are financially eligible, according to the board.

It is possible that more students are eligible for the Promise program but have not filled out the financial aid form in anticipation of applying to college.

State lawmakers funded the program with an initial $7.5 million this year, and the board is pressing for more than $30 million for the next cycle. But regardless of state benefits, all eligible students will receive funding.

Many states and cities already have promising programs – locally, for example, Mesa has a free education program for students of Mesa Community College.

The hope is that this state scholarship will help increase the relatively low level of college completion in Arizona and also motivate high school students to be college ready and graduate so that they can access tuition free.

“They are messages that go down to eighth, ninth and tenth grade for students and their families who are making long-term decisions about their academic lives, even if you are a very low-income person, you can go to college, that way is available to you, that our state wants you to go to college, and we want you to go to college,” Arnold said. This promise is for you.”

Who Is Eligible For Free College?

Eligible students receive a guarantee that their tuition and fees will be covered, according to the board. The scholarship fills any gaps for students in tuition and fees after they have been awarded a Pell Grant and any other assistance they may receive.

“That’s a promise. If you meet all of these criteria, you will get the scholarship,” Arnold said.

Scholarships begin next spring for eligible students who are already registered. The board of directors and three universities are working on plans to market it across the state to show more eligible students the program and prepare to enroll next fall.


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