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City of Cambridge Announces the Cambridge Promise Pilot for Eligible Students Attending Bunker Hill Community College

Cambridge Promise Pilot Recipients
Credit: Yonas Aschale

The City of Cambridge is pleased to announce a new pilot program that will provide up to 20-30 students with free tuition at Bunker Hill Community College and a College Success Coach this school year.

The Cambridge Promise Pilot will allow eligible students enrolled at Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) and supported by the City’s College Success Initiative (CSI) to receive a “last dollar plus scholarship,” which includes free tuition and fees for the 2023-2024 academic year. In addition to the free tuition and fees, the program will also pay for school-related expenses not covered by a student’s Pell Grant and outside scholarships, and provide an additional $250 each semester. In support of the program, MIT and Harvard University each commited $25,000 to fully fund the pilot in its first year. The scholarships will be given to 20-30 eligible students for up to six semesters.

In order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must be Cambridge residents who graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin (CRLS) in 2023, enroll in Bunker Hill Community College within 12 months of graduating from CRLS, and currently participate in the College Success Initiative. The College Success Initiative serves students underrepresented in higher education, including immigrant students, first-generation college students, and students from households with low incomes.

“The College Success Initiative is thrilled to support the Cambridge Promise program,” said Tawanya Garrett, Director of the College Success Initiative. “CSI aims to provide holistic support to all of our students through our coaching component and by connecting students to community resources. For our eligible CSI students enrolled at Bunker Hill Community College, the financial support that Cambridge Promise will provide will be a crucial factor in supporting their completion of a college degree.”

“Several college coaches at CSI have mentioned the financial stressors on students that cause them to drop out and not obtain a degree,” said Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui. “That was the inspiration to form a working group and launch this program off the ground. We hope to be able to increase the number of students supported by a Cambridge Promise Scholarship in future years.”

A working group led by the Office of Mayor Sumbul Siddiqui, City Staff, the Cambridge Public School District, the College Success Initiative, Cambridge School Committee Members, and the Cambridge Community Foundation has met since September 2022 to create a pilot program that was modeled after the Boston Tuition-Free Community College Fund. It was formed to address inequities in degree attainment and the rising cost of college.

“I want to applaud the efforts that went into launching this incredibly important pilot program,” said Cambridge City Manager Yi-An Huang. “The financial support from Harvard and MIT will allow local students the opportunity to enroll in a higher education institution and graduate with much less financial burden and enable them to pursue their higher education goals.”

The College Success Initiative – a City of Cambridge, non-profit and higher education collaborative -- supports Cambridge students and families who are underrepresented in higher education. Eligible students are referred to CSI through CRLS, the Community Learning Center’s Bridge to College program, and Just-A-Start's YouthBuild program. CSI is designed to support students in completing a post-secondary degree within 6 years and to coordinate a community of partners committed to the persistence of Cambridge students. Students enrolled in CSI are assigned a College Success Coach who helps them navigate the stresses of the transition to college, connects students with institutional resources, and provides academic and non-academic support.

To learn more about the Cambridge Promise Pilot and to review FAQs, please visit www.cambridgema.gov/CambridgePromise



Page was posted on 9/12/2023 2:22 PM
Page was last modified on 9/25/2023 12:42 PM
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