A Promise of Equity: Designing a Debt-Free Higher Education Program That Works for Everyone

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Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center

College affordability has reached crisis levels across the country. Years of state budget cuts to higher education have led to higher tuition and fees, and mounting student debt—all while the students have become increasingly economically and racially diverse. Based on a review of the relevant literature, including case studies of existing Promise programs and data on college and university students in Massachusetts, this paper offers an equity analysis of the different design elements of a Promise program. That is, how do choices made about each element affect access and affordability for students from less wealthy families, students of color, and immigrant students?

education, higher--government policy, Massachusetts, Promise program, immigrant students