Promise Research at the Upjohn Institute

Welcome to the W.E. Upjohn Institute’s database of place-based or “Promise” scholarship programs. Promise programs are designed to promote degree and credential attainment by reducing the cost of higher education for a broad segment of a local population. To that end, the programs in this database include a place-based student eligibility requirement tied to a financial award beyond existing federal and state aid.

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 scholarships have emerged, the Institute has worked to connect researchers across communities, align analytical approaches, and generate collective knowledge about the Promise movement. 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 numerous Promise stakeholders, including researchers, policymakers, educators, the media, and members of the public. The entire database is available on request, and we welcome feedback and corrections; please email promisedatabase@upjohn.org.

NOVEMBER 2022 UPDATE:
  • 19 program entries added and 14 removed, for a total of 216
  • Many California tuition-free community college programs covered by generic entry “California College Promise Programs”
  • Corrections and program changes
  • 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

OCTOBER 2021 UPDATE:
  • 19 programs added and 7 removed for a total of 204
  • Corrections and program changes
  • Added two new variables:
    • Whether the program serves adult learners
    • A numerical ID variable to keep track of programs
  • 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
AUGUST 2020 UPDATE:
  • 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
MAY 2019 UPDATE:
  • 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.