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The “Promise” strategy gained prominence with the announcement of the Kalamazoo Promise program in Michigan in November 2005. The program, known as a universal, place-based scholarship initiative, offers full college tuition to any Kalamazoo Public Schools graduate attending a public college in Michigan. In January 2007, El Dorado, Arkansas announced the El Dorado Promise: a new program that guaranteed that high school graduates from the area can afford college thanks to a $50 million gift from the Murphy Oil Corporation. The El Dorado Promise is modeled after the Kalamazoo program; scholarships are not based on students’ grades in high school or financial need. Through the Promise, Murphy Oil will pay tuition and mandatory fees for up to five years for recipients. To receive the Promise, a student must enroll in a community college or a four-year university – public or private, in Arkansas or out-of-state – and maintain a 2.0 college grade-point average in college.


Volume 11, Issue 1