Arizona's Future Promise Plan
A big part of Arizona’s economic future depends upon our ability to get people to and through higher education. If we want to continue to be a leader in economic growth we must have an educated, skilled workforce prepared to meet the demands of emerging professions. 65% of all jobs require some postsecondary education and that figure will only rise. Currently the number of Arizonans engaged in some form of postsecondary education is insufficient to replace the amount of people who will be retiring in coming years. Right now, our post attainment number is just 46%, well below the national average. We must act now to reverse this trend and ensure economic security and mobility for all Arizonans.
My Future Promise Plan will:
- Award students attending a four-year institution with up to $5000 per year
- Award students attending a two-year institution with up to $2500 per year
- Dedicate $2M per cohort for support services to help students excel on their postsecondary education path. Each participant will be paired with a success coach from a partnering agency.
- Earmark $30M in aid for non-traditional students wishing to return to higher education
These last-dollar, need-based scholarships will work in conjunction with federal Pell Grants to eventually make college free, or nearly free, for 40,000 students a year. Enrollees would need to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or above in order to renew their scholarship each year. The Promise Plan also includes money allocated for the purposes of student support services like college and career counseling, mentoring programs, and college-readiness activities.
Additionally Arizona has about 1 million adult learners with some postsecondary education who have not completed their degree or certificate. The Arizona Restart portion of my plan will earmark $30M to be dedicated to the reengagement of adult learners who have not had the opportunity to complete their education and want to return for degree reclamation. They will be eligible for a tuition-free community college experience.
The Arizona state constitution stipulates that university instruction should be as nearly free as possible and that’s what my Arizona’s Future Promise Plan aims to achieve. An affordable education should be the right of every young person in our state. Tapping into just a small fraction of our recurring budget surplus will give tens of thousands of Arizonans each year, the promise of a more prosperous future. Improved higher education attainment and access will create a more successful Arizona for all, and keep our state competitive in the years to come.