Jenny Durkan Unveils “Seattle Promise” Plan: Free College for Seattle High School Graduates

Jenny Durkan Unveils “Seattle Promise” Plan: Free College for Seattle High School Graduates

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Bold Proposal Will Make College More Affordable for Seattle Families and Students

Seattle – Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan announced her “Seattle Promise” plan, a bold proposal to provide free college to Seattle public high school graduates. Each year, one in four Seattle graduates do not pursue a continuing education pathway, and among low-income and students of color, this number increases to one in three.

“Seattle’s next mayor has the responsibility to tackle the affordability crisis from every angle. This means protecting and creating more affordable housing and building true economic empowerment. To do that, we need to ensure students from all economic backgrounds, and from every neighborhood in Seattle, have the chance to earn a credential, certificate or degree,” said Jenny Durkan.

The Seattle Promise scholarship plan will provide free college tuition (15 credits for 6 quarters – up to 90 credits) for students who graduate from any public high school in the City of Seattle. Learning and modeling from South Seattle College’s 13th Year Promise Scholarship program, national programs, and other programs in Washington’s Community and Technical College system, Seattle Promise will be an investment to help students complete a certificate, credential or two-year degree with labor market value or make significant progress toward a Bachelor’s degree.

“For many in America, two of the most important investments are a college degree and a home. Today, for most families and young people in Seattle, these investments in the future – college and a home – are completely out of reach, particularly in communities of color,” continued Durkan. “Under Seattle Promise, our kids will know they have a debt-free route to enter the workforce career-ready or pursue further studies at four-year colleges and universities.”

In addition, students will benefit from funding for support staff and services to counsel and advise them in their transition to college and during their two years as part of the Seattle Promise program. Graduates from all Seattle public high schools, including undocumented students, are eligible beginning in 2018.

“In the era of Trump, if we want to implement bold progressive ideas to address social and economic inequality and make our city more affordable, we are going to have to act on our own, at the local level,” concluded Durkan.

You can read the “Seattle Promise” Fact Sheet here and Jenny’s other specific plans to address the urgent issues facing Seattle here.