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Tackling Hartford's college graduation problem

Hartford, CT has a college graduation problem.

Like many urban communities, Hartford is undereducated. Only 23% of Hartford Public School graduating seniors complete their college degree in under six years.

This lack of higher education leads to seemingly intractable problems of poverty, poor health, and family instability. Hartford Promise believes that large-scale college success can address these chronic problems, transform the lives of Hartford students, and change the trajectory of the city.

“No single thing has a greater impact on a young person’s life than a college education,” says Richard Sugarman, President of Hartford Promise.

“Research shows that people have a much better chance of escaping poverty, being healthier, living longer, and being happier if they earn a college degree. Hartford Promise is taking down financial barriers that limit a student’s college choices and giving them the support they need for college success.”

What is Hartford Promise?

Hartford Promise is a large-scale college scholarship and college success program for Hartford Public School students.To qualify, a student must:

  • Be a Hartford resident for four years of high school
  • Attend a Hartford Public School for four years of high school
  • Have a 93% cumulative attendance record in high school
  • Have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or better in high school

If a student meets the criteria s/he will receive a scholarship of up to $20,000 for any four-year, accredited college or university and the support to help them succeed. No fine print. Meet the four criteria — you have earned the scholarship.

In just three years, Hartford Promise has 400 Scholars! Eighty-six percent of scholars are persisting successfully from freshman to sophomore year, compared to the national average of 60% for Pell-eligible students.

We directly address a key barrier to economic success, prepare the children of Hartford for meaningful employment through higher education, and improve economic mobility in the city of Hartford.

“The Hartford Promise has helped me immensely this year. Coming from a low-income family with two other siblings around the same age made paying for college very difficult. Although my parent[s] wanted the best for each of us, they could not provide the financial support we needed to pursue a college degree. The Hartford Promise has allowed me to attend the college of my choice and pursue a career I am passionate about.” - Laura D., UConn Junior

- story by Leslie Silvers

Hartford Promise logo

Hartford Promise is a large-scale college scholarship fund and college success program for Hartford public school students.

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