Promise Research at the Upjohn Institute

Welcome to the W.E. Upjohn Institute’s interactive database of place-based or “Promise” scholarship programs. These programs are designed to reduce the cost of higher education for a large segment of a community’s young people, thereby transforming not just the lives of these individuals but also the places in which they live and the school districts they attend.

Since 2006, the Upjohn Institute has played a leading role in advancing understanding of the Promise movement, beginning with rigorous research on the impact of the Kalamazoo Promise. As other place-based scholarship programs have emerged, the Institute has worked to connect researchers across communities, align analytical approaches, and generate collective knowledge about impact. The Institute has also been a leader in educating stakeholders and policymakers regarding the impact of Promise programs.

We hope that this tool will be of use to Promise stakeholders, present and future; the media; policymakers; educators; and members of the public. We welcome feedback on the database; please email us at with corrections or additions.

  • 48 programs added, for a total of 192
  • Corrections and program changes
  • Added four new variables:
    • Origin of the program as either community or institution based
    • Whether program is part of the California College Promise Grant
    • Number of students served by the program
    • Street address of the program office or primary institution
  • Updated saturation and intensity indices
    • Low indicates a program is in the bottom quarter of programs; Middle indicates it is in the middle two quarters; and High indicates it is in the top quarter of programs
  • Updated demographic characteristics of program areas
  • Updated national map of Promise programs
  • 55 programs added, for a total of 144
  • Corrections and program changes
  • Updated saturation and intensity indices
  • Updated demographic characteristics of program areas

About the Promise Database

Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions about Promise Programs. Please contact us if you have any further questions.