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Columbus Promise

Columbus Promise

Are you a recent Columbus Schools grad looking to start your education? Check out the Columbus Promise, a tuition-free scholarship program!

Columbus Promise

City of Columbus site

Partnering to Make a Promise

In the years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, City Council President Shannon G. Hardin and Columbus State President David T. Harrison discussed the possibility of introducing a free College Promise initiative in Columbus. In 2021, with the pandemic worsening, along with economic inequities for thousands of area students and families, they committed to making the Promise real.

In November 2021, leaders from the City of Columbus, Columbus State Community College, nonprofit college access program I Know I Can, and Columbus City Schools (CCS) announced the first phase of The Columbus Promise, a three-year pilot guaranteeing a tuition-free education at Columbus State to all Columbus City Schools graduates, beginning with the graduating class of 2022.

In August 2022, Columbus State welcomed 694 Columbus City Schools graduates, more than twice the number of district graduates who’d enrolled in the previous two autumn semesters, getting the program off to a very promising start.


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Columbus Promise Guarantees Students

  • Free tuition plus a $500/semester scholarship for up to six semesters for Columbus City Schools (CCS) graduates.
  • -Dedicated student support, academic advising, and academic coaching.

Strong Results For The First Year Include:

  • A two-fold increase in Columbus State
    enrollment of Columbus City Schools graduates.
  • A 38% increase across CCS in students
    submitting the Free Application for
    Federal Student Aid, a critical milestone
    for college enrollment.
  • Strong diversity, with 52% of Promise Scholars identifying as Black and 15% as Hispanic.

Fall Enrollment of Spring Columbus City Schools Graduates










Promise Champions

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Bath and Body Works logo

Cardinal health logo

Columbus Foundation logo

Columbus Partnership logo

Denison logo

DZL logo

Edwards logo

Huntington bank logo

IGS Energy logo

IBP logo

Mount Carmel logo

Nationwide insurance logo

Nationwide Childrens logo

FLEX logo

PNC logo

ATT logo

Safelite logo

White Castle logo

Grange logo