Arizona Western College Promises High School Grads Zero Expenses to Complete Degree

Sep 16, 2019

Class of 2020 high school students who want to complete an associate’s degree at Arizona Western College and transfer to a state university partner here in Yuma can have 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fees reimbursed, pending full-time enrollment and successful completion within five semesters.

At a press conference today, Dr. Daniel Corr, AWC President, announced the new Yuma Promise program, which is set to commence this spring as students in the Yuma area finish high school.

“As we work to systemically grow opportunities for students and their families and the local economy, the Yuma Promise is a huge step forward to reduce barriers to access to higher education,” Dr. Corr said.

“We know from national research that a degree from AWC has a profound impact on social mobility for our students. We’re here to build a pipeline to our university partners, and to fundamentally change the fabric of our community with increased higher educational attainment rates, better jobs and higher wages.” 

To qualify for the program, students have to sign a Yuma Promise commitment form, apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and enroll full-time at AWC. Upon completion of their AWC associate’s degree, and upon transferring to University of Arizona-Yuma, Arizona State University @ Yuma, or Northern Arizona University-Yuma, the student will be eligible to apply for reimbursement of 100 percent of their out-of-pocket tuition and fee costs. The Yuma Promise does not cover equipment, housing or food.

The Yuma Promise follows the La Paz Promise, which was launched starting with the class of 2019 for residents of La Paz County. The Promise program directly addresses the college’s ambitious BHAG or Big, Hairy Audacious Goal), a component of the AWC Strategic Plan 2025, of doubling baccalaureate attainment rates in the district. The Promise program is another step by AWC to build a college-going culture and it follows the 2017 announcement of Early College Tuition, an effort of the District Governing Board that has been highly successful to incent dual and concurrent credit by current high school students. Early College Tuition is $25 a credit hour, a nearly 70 percent discount from the full in-state tuition of $86 a credit hour.

More information regarding both the La Paz Promise and the Yuma Promise, including FAQ’s and the program timeline, are available at azwestern.edu/promise

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Stay tuned to KAWC 88.9 FM and kawc.org for a report from Kim Johnson.