Cranston, RI--On January 16, 2017 at the Ministers Alliance MLK, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast, Governor Raimondo announced her proposal to expand the RI Promise program to ensure two years of college tuition free at the state's public colleges.
The Governor's remarks highlighted the need for postsecondary training: "When I was my children's age, most jobs in Rhode Island required nothing more than high school degree. But for all of our kids, that's not the case anymore. The reality is most jobs being created now in Rhode Island will require some degree or certificate beyond a high school diploma. We are going to stand up and make the college dream a reality for every Rhode Islander who wants it."
All RI high school students beginning with 2017 graduates can pursue an associate degree at the Community College of Rhode Island or a bachelor's degree at the University of Rhode Island or Rhode Island College tuition free for two years, regardless of their family income. Students need to meet admissions requirements and be enrolled full-time. At CCRI, the Promise can be applied as early as fall 2017, and at URI and RIC, the Promise will apply to their junior and senior years.
"Compared with other Promise programs throughout the country, Gov. Raimondo's proposal is unique,' said Jim Purcell, Commissioner of Postsecondary Education. "It gives all RI high school students a shot at a degree, and it is designed to guide students to finish."
The proposal estimates that once fully phased in, the program will require a $30-million state investment, which will be paid for through new revenues made available as a result of economic growth.
Details about the proposal can be found at www.freecollegeri.com.