Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply? 

To become a Columbus Promise Scholar, students in the class of 2024 must:

There will be workshops in your high school building held over the next few months to help you complete these items.  If you need help, please get in touch with the I Know I Can College Advising Manager or a School Counselor in your high school building.

To remain a Columbus Promise Scholar once in college, students must:

  • Maintain the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each semester. Students not meeting the standards of Satisfactory Academic Progress will be placed on warning and have an opportunity to raise their grade point average and/or course completion rate.
  • Take at least nine credit hours per term.
  • Complete all mandatory student success programming, including meeting regularly with your Columbus Promise Advisor.

Who is eligible?

All students who graduate from a Columbus City Schools high school in 2022, 2023, or 2024 are eligible to become a Columbus Promise scholar.  You MUST apply for Columbus Promise during your senior year of high school.  There are no GPA requirements, no financial need requirements, and no immigration status requirements.

To receive the scholarship, students must be enrolled in Columbus State Community College with a minimum of 6 credit hours per semester.

What does the Columbus Promise scholarship cover?

The Columbus Promise Scholarship covers tuition and fees after the Pell Grant (if eligible) and any tuition-restricted scholarship(s) for up to six semesters of consecutive enrollment, with summer enrollment optional. A stipend of $500 per semester is also provided.

While all Promise students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year, Pell Grant eligibility is not required to receive the award.

Columbus Promise scholars also receive access to an on-campus advisor to help provide educational and career guidance and encourage scholars to stay on track.

When is the deadline?

The Priority Deadline to apply is May 15, 2024.

The Final Deadline to apply AND complete pre-enrollment steps is July 15, 2024.

When do I find out if I got it?

The earlier you apply, the earlier you’ll find out you’re eligible for Columbus Promise and be able to take the next steps toward receiving your Columbus Promise award and enrolling for autumn semester.

There are many benefits to applying early! Complete your application by the May 1 Priority deadline to:

  • Participate in your high school’s College Signing Day activities.
  • Meet other Columbus Promise Scholars and sign up for programs that will help you get a strong start to college.
  • Make a plan for summer
  • Attend orientation at Columbus State
  • Register for classes at Columbus State and get the best selection of classes.
  • Complete any remaining steps to receive your scholarship award.
  • Brag to your friends and family that you’re going to college after high school.

Does the program cover the cost of books?

In addition to covering the cost of tuition and fees, the program will grant students a scholarship of $500 that they can use for books or other expenses.

Can I work while attending college as a Columbus Promise student?

Columbus Promise students can work while attending college as long as they enroll in the minimum six (6) credit hours each semester and maintain continuous enrollment in autumn and spring semesters (summer enrollment is optional). Columbus Promise Advisors are on campus to help students make a plan for success around their work and college responsibilities.

I’m not a U.S. Citizen or I am undocumented or in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Can I be a Promise Scholar?

Yes, when you apply, you can share your status at that time. All CCS graduates in the classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024, regardless of immigration status, are eligible for the program.

What if I’m a high school senior graduating early or late – can I still take part?

If you are a member of the class of 2024 and graduate in the spring or summer, then you are eligible. Students are encouraged to apply by the priority deadline of May 15, 2024. Application and enrollment confirmation must be completed by July 15, 2024.

Are there income requirements? Is Promise need-based or merit-based?

The Columbus Promise program is currently open to every student in Columbus City Schools who graduates from Columbus City Schools in 2022, 2023, or 2024. All eligible students must complete the FAFSA, but there are no specific student or family income requirements.

I have an IEP (Individualized Education Program) or 504 plan.  Will I be able to get the same accommodations/ support as a Columbus Promise Scholar?

Yes, Columbus State Community College offers support services. Once accepted into the Columbus Promise program, advisors are available to help learn more about these.

I just moved to Columbus or just transferred to Columbus City Schools. Am I eligible?

If you’re enrolled in Columbus City Schools, will graduate from a Columbus City Schools High School, and can meet the other eligibility requirements above, then you are eligible.

I will have some college credit already, through AP classes, College Credit Plus, or another program. Does this still apply to me?

Yes, you’re still welcome to be part of the program. If you come in with a lot of college credits already, you might be able to graduate early – you can talk to your Promise Advisor about it when you make your college plan!

What if I have to leave college after I start?

The Columbus Promise program requires students to remain continuously enrolled in autumn and spring semesters (summer enrollment is optional). If you have a compelling need to take a semester off, talk to your Columbus Promise Advisor about appealing the continuous enrollment requirement based on special circumstances.

Can I take some time off after high school and enroll later with the Columbus Promise?

Students are required to enroll in the immediate fall following their high school graduation. If you have a compelling need to delay your start, an exception may be possible. Once you complete the Columbus Promise application and receive confirmation that you are eligible for The Columbus Promise Scholarship award, you can reach out to [email protected] about appealing the requirement to enroll in the fall.

I live in Columbus, but I do not go to a high school in the Columbus City Schools district. How do I take advantage?

This program is only open to students graduating from a Columbus City Schools High School.  

I’m interested in some other programs at Columbus State like Weiler Scholars, Honors, or Health Careers Opportunity Program. Can I do those and also be a Promise Scholar?

Yes! However, you will need to complete separate applications for those programs as well as meet all their requirements.

Check out more information on Weiler Scholars, Health Careers Opportunity Program, and the Honors Program.

I’m not in the class of 2022, 2023 or 2024 but I am thinking about college. Will the Columbus Promise be there when I graduate?

The Columbus Promise has been launched as a three-year pilot, available to Columbus City Schools students in the classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024. Our hope is to expand the program to make it possible to extend Promise to more students in the future.

I know I want to go to college, but I’m not sure what I want to study. What can I study at Columbus State Community College? Are there specific majors I have to pick?

Getting a college education can help you get a good job. You have a lot of options, from short certificate programs that can help you get a job after one or two semesters of study to longer programs. We encourage you to explore the Columbus State Community College website and learn more about its programs. Currently, programs are divided into pathways that you can explore here:

  • Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences
  • Biological, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences
  • Business and Hospitality Services
  • Computer Science, Information Technology, and Design
  • Construction and Skilled Trades
  • Education, Human Services, and Public Safety
  • Health Sciences
  • Engineering, Manufacturing, and Engineering Technology

You can also get an associate degree and use it to transfer to a four-year university to get a bachelor’s degree.

What if I want to get a four-year degree?

Currently, the Columbus Promise only includes Columbus State Community College, which does not award bachelor’s degrees. However, Columbus State can help you complete your associate degree and then transfer. In fact, Columbus State has nine universities that agree to accept all students who meet certain basic criteria; you can learn more here.

The Columbus Promise Team