50th Anniversary PROMISE Scholarship

Philadelphia High School Students: Here’s Your Chance to Attend College DEBT FREE

If you’re a Philadelphia high school student, you may be able to pursue an associate degree at Community College of Philadelphia with no cost for tuition and fees if you start the fall semester immediately following your graduation. 

Your first step is to apply to Community College of Philadelphia.

To be considered for the scholarship, you must apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and be eligible to receive the Pell Grant. Financial aid grant dollars received will be applied; the College will provide financial support for tuition and fees unmet by grants.

Eligibility Requirements

The 50th Anniversary PROMISE Scholarship is open to all Philadelphia high school students who enroll in the fall immediately following their graduation, and meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident residing in Philadelphia
  • Must be a graduate of a Philadelphia high school within the Philadelphia city limits
  • Must enroll in Community College of Philadelphia the fall semester immediately following high school graduation
  • File a FAFSA by and qualify as Pell-eligible by established deadline
  • Satisfy college-level placement requirement (a minimum placement in English 101 and Math 017 required)
  • Must enroll in a minimum of 6 credits/semester if part time and 12 credits/semester if full time
  • Must enroll in a degree program of study
  • Must file a FAFSA and qualify for Pell (by established deadlines) o Must submit all required documentation by established deadline

NOTE: Students who are homeschooled or attend a charter or cyber-school will be considered for the scholarship only if their high school diploma is issued by the School District of Philadelphia. Students who have completed college coursework while enrolled in high school will be considered if they meet all other eligibility criteria. College coursework may have been completed while dually enrolled in high school, including special programs offered to high school students during the summer.

Important Deadlines for Eligibility

  • FASFA filed by June 1, 2023
  • FASFA—all documentation submitted by July 14, 2023

Maintaining Eligibility

 Continuation of the award is contingent on the following requirements:

  • Must maintain continuous enrollment in a degree program
  • Must register for a minimum of 6 credits/semester (for part-time students) and 12 credits/semester (for full-time students) in both the fall and spring semesters of each year of eligibility
  • Must file a FAFSA renewal and qualify for Pell (by established deadlines) each year
  • Must earn a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade point average at the end of each academic year and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress each semester
  • Must meet with assigned counselor at least once each semester
  • Should participate in student success support programs and activities designed to ensure success at the College
  • Should participate in at least once extracurricular activity (campus or community-based)
  • Must maintain Philadelphia residency for duration of scholarship

For FULL-time students (enrollment in minimum of 12 credits/semester, excluding summer):

  • Complete 20+ credits prior to the 2nd year and 42+ credits prior to the start of the third year
  • Scholarship is for three continuous years or until completion of the first associate degree, whichever comes first.

For PART-time students (enrollment in minimum of 6 credits/semester, excluding summer):

  • Complete 12+ credits prior to the 2nd year; 24+ credits prior to the start of the third year; 36+ credits prior to the start of the fourth year; 48+ credits prior to the start of the fifth year; 60+ credits prior to the start of the sixth year
  • Scholarship is for six continuous years or until completion of the first associate degree, whichever comes first.

Residency Requirements for the 50thAnniversary PROMISE Scholarship

Students must provide Community College of Philadelphia with residency verification in order to be eligible to pay in-county tuition and fees for classes taken at the College. These documents verify your physical presence in Philadelphia and intent to remain in Philadelphia while matriculated at the College. Any students incorrectly classified as residents of Philadelphia will be responsible for payment and repayment of non-county tuition. Students will be required to provide at least two documents to confirm their residency. Copies of these documents must:

  • Be dated to show physical presence and intent to reside in Philadelphia County
  • Have the student’s name printed on the documents
  • Include a physical Philadelphia county address

Acceptable documents include the following:

PA Driver’s License/ID card with Philadelphia county address (issued at least three months ago) Philadelphia county Voter registration card (issued at least three months ago
Bank account statements (showing Philadelphia address) Pay stub(s) with Philadelphia home address showing paid Philadelphia wage taxes (at least the past three months)
High school transcript from a Philadelphia county high school showing school attendance in Philadelphia for at least the past three months Notarized letter from parent/guardian including address information and dates of residency (must be accompanied by current apartment lease or mortgage information with your parent/guardian's name on it)
Federal/PA State Income Tax forms and/or W-2 wage statements with Philadelphia county address  (most current) Documentation of ownership of residential property or of continuous occupancy of rented or leased property in your name in Philadelphia county


NOTE: Only students who are U.S. Citizens or permanent residents who reside in Philadelphia and have graduated from a Philadelphia high school within the Philadelphia city limits are eligible for the 50th Anniversary PROMISE Scholarship.

Make a Gift to the 50th Anniversary PROMISE Scholarship

Because of generous donations to the 50th Anniversary Scholars Program, students are able to focus on what matters most: their future.

Make a Gift Today

Go to College without Breaking the Bank

Tuition Savings

Average Yearly Tuition Costs
Private Colleges: $37,198  For-profit Institutions: $15,172  Public Colleges: $13,246  Community College of Philadelphia: $5,550 


Essence Gaines
“Without stressing about how I’m going to pay for school, I can focus on other important things like attending helpful workshops. The best part is, I’ve have been able to connect with other people, and I can concentrate on school and just life in general.”
— Essence Gaines


Read more about Essence and the 50th Anniversary Promise Scholarship online.