Promise Pathway Program

HCC's Promise Pathway Program is designed to address the financial barriers for Washington County students who have the academic readiness and commitment to succeed in college, but lack all the necessary financial resources to do so, even if they qualify for federal financial aid. The primary goal of the Promise Pathway Program is to assist eligible students in earning a college credential at HCC (a letter of recognition, program certificate, or associate degree), through financial assistance and academic guidance and mentoring before they start college. This special initiative is being supported by the Washington County Public Schools.

The HCC Foundation and HCC will cover essential college education costs that are not included in a student’s federal financial aid packages and/or special grants and scholarships. Currently, HCC has been awarded competitive program grants that provide tuition assistance to students in certain majors.


Public, private, and home-schooled students living in Washington County can apply to the program, with the support of their parents and school officials, as early as sixth grade, as program “prospects.” Student prospects will need to do well in school to be admitted in the program. They will not receive the financial support promise until 10th grade or later, when the student is formally awarded early admission status into an HCC program of study.

The primary criteria for admission into and retention within the program are maintenance of a minimum 2.5 GPA in high school and at HCC, documented family financial need, and a commitment to complete the FAFSA application. All applicants must apply for and use all available federal and state aid, as well as external scholarships they have, before the “promise dollars” are awarded.

Application Process

The Promise Pathway Program has a two-tiered application process. Washington County students can apply as early as sixth grade to become prospects and no later than March 1st of their senior year in high school. Prospects will not receive the financial support promise until 10th grade or later, when prospect students are invited to apply for a Promise Scholarship through the HCC Foundation. If accepted, prospect students will transition to Promise Pathway Program scholarship students and awarded early admission status into an HCC program of study.

Eligible students will be able to register at HCC as early as ESSENCE students, STEMM Technical Middle College students, or as part-time/full-time undergraduate students; these students’ cost of attendance will be funded through the Promise Pathway Program.

Prospect Application Process

  1. Students complete the Student Information Form. Parents/Legal Guardians complete the Parent/Legal Guardian Information Form and Consent to Release Information Form.
  2. Forms completed in Step 1 are turned in to the school Principal’s Office. Homeschooled students can mail their forms directly to HCC.
  3. School Principal completes the Recommendation Form and returns all forms and student information to HCC. This step should be completed by March 1.
  4. All sophomores, juniors, and seniors who wish to apply for Promise Program funding for the fall semester, must apply to HCC, submit high school transcripts and complete the FAFSA by March 1. Completing the FAFSA allows us to begin the planning process for awarding Promise Program funding to students for the fall semester. If you need assistance with the FAFSA, please contact our Financial Aid Office at 240-500-2473 or
  5. Letters will be mailed to those students who fit the criteria in April. Those who do, will be invited to a summer bridge program in July. Those who do not meet the criteria, will be encouraged to complete the Foundation Scholarship Application to apply for other HCC scholarships.
  6. Students should be registered by May 15 to receive Promise Program Funding or other HCC scholarships.

Rising 6th-9th graders will be required to participate in one bridge program during the school year, exact dates and location TBD. Rising 6th-9th graders will receive details from HCC about these meetings in the fall.