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Final Touches on Oregon Promise

News Release

October 15, 2015

CONTACT: Dominique Rossi 503-986-1714

SALEM – Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission has finalized administrative rules to implement the Oregon Promise, which the legislature passed earlier this year, providing up to two years of community college at no cost to the student.

Applications for the Oregon Promise (SB 81) will be available to students on November 1st, 2015. Based on current senior enrollment, HECC estimates that the allotted $10 million will cover all eligible students in the 2016 class.

Grants will be available to the current class of Oregon high school seniors, as long as they maintain at least a 2.5 GPA and graduate from their school.

“When I talk to families and school counselors, there is growing excitement this is really going to happen,” Hass said. “College should be a bridge to opportunity, not a barrier to opportunity.”

Under the new rules, students will receive a minimum of $1000 in aid up to the full average cost of tuition. The average cost will be calculated based on three terms of 15 credits per term.

Oregon and Tennessee are the only states who have passed free community college laws. However, similar measures are now pending in many states, including Washington and California.

After the legislature passed the Oregon Promise, President Obama appointed Hass to a presidential commission studying ways to help other states follow Oregon’s lead. The commission, called the College Promise Advisory Board, held its first meeting last month at the White House. Jill Biden, VP Joe Biden’s wife, chairs the commission.

Posted on October 15, 2015.

Meet Mark Hass

Mark Hass is an Oregon State Senator from Washington County and Southwest Portland. His priority in the legislature has been the elusive goal of reforming Oregon's tax structure so that it is less volatile and more stable. He is best known as a leader in education policy, authoring Oregon's full day kindergarten bills and the landmark Oregon Promise law (2015), which provides students with up to two years of free community college tuition. Read more.

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