Analyzes the place-based approach to awarding scholarships, called “Promise” programs in the United States, created specifically to increase access to postsecondary education for students, build a college-going culture in schools district, and place an emphasis on local community and economic development; and covers the program’s history as well as its impact and possible future.

This book provides an overview and analysis of “place-based scholarships, often called “Promise” programs, [which] have emerged in communities of all types and sizes…with about 50 in operation as of 2015” (p.1). Such programs provide college tuition for certain students in the involved city. Published in 2015, considers the impact of the Promise model across the United States.

“The Promise model has been spreading quickly, but efforts to collectively analyze these programs are limited…There are reasons why this is a challenging task. These initiatives originate from the grassroots, are only loosely connected to each other, and differ in some of their fundamental features. Yet they represent a…departure from historical patterns of student financial aid and an innovative approach to community and economic development. This volume takes a broad look at the emergence and development of place-based scholarships and provides a nontechnical audience with some analytical tools for understanding both the origins and impact of Promise programs.

“In [the first] chapter, [the author] define[s] a Promise program, which is harder than it sounds since the current place-based scholarship programs differ from each other in many ways, both large and small. In Chapter 2, [the author] address[es] how Promise programs fit into the larger landscape of financial aid, economic development, and community change strategies, resolving some of the confusion that surrounds various “Promise”-named initiatives at the federal, state, and local levels. Chapter 3 explores the pathways through which the Promise model has expanded into new communities, [which the author calls a] puzzling phenomenon given that the Promise movement lacks any central direction. Chapter 4 examines the two most critical design choices made by Promise stakeholders—which students are eligible for a scholarship and what institutions they can attend…Chapter 5 reviews existing research and draws some conclusions about the impact of Promise programs to date…Chapter 6 looks at the area of impact that is hardest to measure or assess—how Promise programs affect economic development…Chapter 7 offers some concluding thoughts on the future of the Promise movement, its staying power, and the key issues to which Promise communities must attend” (p.2-3).

(Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)