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Students at Graduation

Help Us Support Aspiring College Students in Our Community

“College remains a daunting financial challenge for thousands of San Jose families, leaving far too many of our kids unprepared to compete in an increasingly challenging global economy and relegated to a future of financial struggle. The San Jose Promise reflects our city’s collective commitment to ensuring that every single San Jose high school student has the opportunity to continue their education and pursue a future with unlimited opportunity.” Mayor Sam Liccardo


What is the San Jose Promise?

On March 8, 2017, the San Jose Promise launched, providing low-income San Jose high school graduates access to up to two years of free community college, along with the academic and social supports to successfully complete a two-year degree, a career technical certificate, or transfer to a four-year university. This initiative, a partnership between Mayor Sam Liccardo, the San Jose-Evergreen Community College District, and West Valley College, aims to boost the rate of college success of San Jose public high school students from 30% to 50%.

 San Jose City College logo  Evergreen Valley College logo  West Valley College logo
The San Jose Promise’s highway to college success has three lanes:
  1. College Readiness programs that support a college-going culture for high school students, through dual enrollment courses that provide free, in-school community college remediation and college-level classes, and assistance with college and financial aid applications;
  2. San José Promise College Scholarship for students from low-income families, for up to two consecutive years of college that will leverage all other sources of financial aid and provide academic supports for college success; and
  3. College Pathway Partnerships that facilitate articulated onramps to the San José Promise for students in career technical education and youth employment programs serving at-risk youth.

This year, the San Jose Program has provided over 800 low-income students with scholarship!


Why Our Program is Different?

While several cities have also launched College Promise programs, we can make ours uniquely impactful with:

  • Technology-enabled, customized counseling can provide a pathway to college success for high school students by creating a virtual “scholarship account” that grows with each incremental progress in coursework and academically-focused extracurricular activities;
  • University Participation will ultimately be essential to avoid imposing a two-year ceiling on student aspirations, so we’ve engaged local universities to explore expanding the San Jose Promise to their institutions; and
  • Industry-Focused Investment in students pursuing industry specific academic programs, such as computer science or engineering, to broaden the talent pool in strategically important industries.


Please Join Us!
Annually, we have more than 1,100 students in need, requiring that we raise another $1,500,000 per year for each of the next three years. Your gift can help ensure that even more aspiring students have the opportunity to continue their education and achieve a more prosperous future.

To Give Online...
Online donations can be made through the San Jose Public Library Foundation website.

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 Click on the button above to go to our online donation page; Under “Where to Give” be sure to select “Other” and type in SJ Promise (see example below):

Online Donation Instructions


To Donate by Check...
To send a check, make it out to San Jose Public Library Foundation and in the memo line write in SJ Promise.

Checks can be sent to

San Jose Public Library Foundation
PO Box 611540
San Jose, CA 95161-1540


Want to Learn More?
For more information about the program, please contact Khanh Russo, Director of Strategic Partnerships for more information at or 408-535-4826.