On Tuesday, March 22, the Peoria City Council approved the PeoriaAZ Promise program through a community partnership with Glendale Community College (GCC) and Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. Beginning in the spring semester of 2022, PeoriaAZ Promise will award college scholarships to Peoria students who qualify for financial assistance.
“PeoriaAZ Promise is near and dear to my heart,” said Peoria Councilmember Bridget Binsbacher. “The mission is to provide easier access to affordable education and I’m so proud that we’ll be able to offer this program to Peoria families.”
In February, the Peoria City Council approved setting aside a portion of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars that the city received to fund a scholarship program. Peoria’s Neighborhood and Human Services Department developed the PeoriaAZ Promise program based on the national program, College Promise, and allocated $200,000 for the program over a period of three years. GCC and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation will be the responsible parties for the operation and administration of the program.
“Financial aid goes beyond tuition and fees. There are living allowance and cost of attendance issues that our students face that too often serve as a barrier to higher education,” said Brian Spicker, president of Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “The foundation is thrilled to partner with Glendale Community College and the City of Peoria’s PeoriaAZ Promise program to deliver this last dollar and student-need support.”
“Glendale Community College is honored to partner with the City of Peoria in this excellent example of collaboration to support Peoria residents and students to uplift a community through education,” said Dr. Terry Leyba Ruiz, president of GCC.
The program is designed to help provide financial assistance for students whose federal financial aid and Pell grants do not cover the entire cost of college tuition and fees. The PeoriaAZ Promise program offers the opportunity for low-income families to cover necessary expenses to ensure success in completing post-secondary education.
“For communities to continue to grow and prosper, families need to have consistent and affordable access to quality post-secondary education,” said Sherie Steele, Peoria’s family and youth services manager. “The PeoriaAZ Promise program will bridge the gap for Peoria families who are paying for college by supplementing federal financial aid, paving the way for students to gain the knowledge, skills, and training needed to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.”
College Promise is a national program designed to help youth and adults from low-income, high-need communities gain access to affordable, quality education beyond high school. Additional information about the PeoriaAZ Promise program will be available soon on the city’s website. To learn more about College Promise, go to www.collegepromise.org.