FAQ

Find the answers!

Heads Up America is the movement to make two years of community college free for hardworking students. We’re students, alumni, educators, and community leaders who believe that every student deserves a shot at a meaningful and rewarding career, without having to take on unmanageable debt. We know that “free” means it’s paid for. We’re encouraged we can do this because many communities and several states have already done it!

And we really stand on the shoulders of past movements, such as the push a century ago to make high school free and universal. That movement created the most educated workforce in the world, which helped build the middle class and America’s role as a global economic superpower. This is an update.

Heads Up America is housed within College Promise Campaign, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to build broad support for free community college for responsible students.

The College Promise Campaign is home to Heads Up America, its public voice and advocacy center. The College Promise Campaign is a national, non-partisan initiative of the 501c3 nonprofit Civic Nation. The Campaign seeks to build broad support to guarantee a community college education for hardworking students across the country. To do this, the Campaign works to:

1) Build coalitions of key leaders across multiple sectors

2) Research the best practices and models currently implementing free community college across the nation

3) Organize grassroots support through Heads Up America

To learn more, please visit www.CollegePromise.org.

All across the country, there is growing support for free community college. But how does this goal actually materialize? With the support of people like you, many communities and states are implementing “College Promise” programs to guarantee an affordable community college education for hardworking students. While these programs vary in terms of who’s eligible and how they’re funded, they all share the common goal of delivering an affordable and quality education. You can help lead the charge in your own community by building support and teaching campus and community leaders about “College Promise” programs.

To learn more about these programs and see if there’s one near you, visit www.CollegePromise.org.

We all know community college students are millions of America’s hardest workers. They juggle jobs, bills, classes, and families - all to get ahead and improve their lives. Communities should invest in these hardworking students, and are increasingly doing just that by developing “College Promise” programs. These programs reduce tuition, fees, and other college costs. By investing in these programs, community leaders, elected officials, and funders are demonstrating their faith in community college students. Often, College Promise programs include various eligibility requirements such as minimum GPAs and course loads. Guidance and mentoring services are often provided as well, in order to help students meet these requirements, staying focused to complete their education and/or training. Responsible students use these resources and work hard to make progress toward reaching their goals, whether that’s an associate’s degree, an occupational certificate, or enough credits to transfer to a four-year college or university.

Nearly a century ago, Americans decided to invest in education by making high school public and accessible for students everywhere. This bold choice cleared a pathway into the middle class for millions of Americans. Unfortunately, today a high school education is no longer enough to get ahead. High school graduates often need the kind of job training, certifications, and general education that community colleges are uniquely positioned to deliver. That’s why free community college is a much needed update to America’s investment in higher education.

Increasingly, places like Los Angeles and Tennessee, Wichita and Oregon, are developing “College Promise” programs to reduce tuition, fees, and other college costs. College Promise students are expected to work hard, meeting various eligibility requirements such as minimum GPAs and course loads. In turn, students are provided the opportunity to build their skills, expand their knowledge, and get ahead. College Promise programs are an investment in the American economy and our nation’s future. Clearly students want to succeed, and they are doing just that by enrolling and thriving in College Promise programs all across the country.