Last spring, Milwaukee Area Technical College was one of the first colleges in the nation to launch a Promise program for adult students. On May 17, 2018, the college kicked off the MATC Promise for Adults, offering free tuition for eligible students to finish their associate degrees at MATC.
Deadlines for applying for next fall’s MATC Promise for Adults have just been announced. The priority deadline for applications is Friday, June 28, 2019. Students who apply by that date will be the first to be contacted about their status. The final application deadline is Friday, July 26, 2019.
“Cost is an immense barrier standing between students and their dreams – and we are breaking it down with free tuition,” said Dr. Vicki J. Martin, MATC president. “The MATC Promise is unlocking the doors of college so that everyone can connect to an in-demand, high-wage career and build the workforce this community needs.
“The MATC Promise for Adults generated a tremendous amount of interest last year,” she said. “We are excited to offer the program for additional students for the next academic year.”
Nearly 3,330 potential students expressed interest in the MATC Promise for Adults for 2018-19, with approximately 1,000 of those students enrolling, including 689 who met all qualifications. MATC works with applicants who do not meet criteria to find a way to make college a reality.
The MATC Promise for Adults covers tuition costs after scholarships and grants for up to 75 credits for eligible individuals. Students must:
•Be 24 years or older and live in the MATC district
•Have an annual family income of $56,000 or less (based on federal student aid application)
•Have earned at least six college credits but have not earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
•Have been out of college for at least two years
In 2015, MATC was the first college in Wisconsin to offer a Promise program for direct-from-high school students. Since inception, 514 qualified students enrolled at the college through the MATC Promise for New High School Graduates. The newly-announced application deadline for the high school class of 2020 is February 1, 2020.
MATC has enrolled more than 1,200 qualified students through the two MATC Promise programs. They have cumulatively earned approximately 20,000 college credits.
Funded through an innovative public-private partnership, 230 donors have given more than $2 million to the MATC Foundation Inc. in support of the Promise programs. The private gifts fill the gap between what financial aid covers for students and the cost of tuition.
MATC’s Promise programs received two Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) in April. Sponsored by U.S. Bank in partnership with Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Milwaukee, the awards celebrate successful efforts to strengthen the community and revitalize neighborhoods. The MATC Promise won the Associated Bank Trail Blazer Award for an innovative approach to a community problem and a Wells Fargo People’s Choice Award based on votes from the public.