Palomar Promise Program Guarantees Free Tuition to SMUSD Graduates

Starting in the Fall of 2017, eligible graduates of San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) will be able to attend Palomar College full-time and tuition-free for up to two years while pursuing an associate’s degree, transfer requirements, and/or a certificate program.

The San Marcos Unified School District and The San Marcos Promise, along with the Palomar College Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Palomar College to create a unique opportunity called the Palomar Promise.

“San Marcos Unified, in partnership with The San Marcos Promise, is proud to announce its ‘promise’ with Palomar Community College.  This is a historic partnership, considering SMUSD will be the first district in North County to establish admission to Palomar College with a guaranteed scholarship provided by The San Marcos Promise and the Palomar College Foundation.  We are so grateful to Palomar College for providing this opportunity for SMUSD graduates,” said Dr. Kevin Holt, San Marcos Unified School District Superintendent.
The Palomar Promise will build on the Palomar Pathways Program implemented at San Marcos High School in 2015-16. In addition to receiving tuition assistance up to $600/semester or $1,200/year from The San Marcos Promise and Palomar College Foundations, students will be provided tools to set career goals and participate in transition activities to increase college persistence.
Adrian Gonzales, Palomar College Interim Superintendent/President, could not have been happier to provide support for this initiative,  “Palomar College has been serving this region for over 70 years and our partnering with San Marcos Unified to provide a free community college education to eligible students sends a strong message to local families that we are united in supporting our community.”
Eligibility for the Palomar Promise will require students to graduate from SMUSD with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA and place into transferable Math, English and Reading, as indicated by Palomar placement test results.  In addition, students will be required to complete the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA), as well as the Palomar College Foundation Scholarship Application prior to the deadline each year.

The San Marcos Promise views the Palomar Promise Program as a natural extension of workforce development that will provide equitable opportunities for students seeking job training, certificate programs, associate or bachelor’s degrees.

“The Palomar Promise is the right thing to do.  It’s right for our kids, for business, and for our community.  Having affordable pathways to college and career in the comfort of your city makes San Marcos a special place to live,” said Herbie Smith, Executive Director of The San Marcos Promise Foundation.

The San Marcos Promise and Palomar College Foundation will continue to establishcommunity partnerships to ensure the Palomar Promise grows throughout the district. Both foundations are ideal organizations to provide financial support for SMUSD college-bound students.

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