Promise Program FAQs

2020-2021 Saddleback College Promise Program Frequently Asked Questions

1.    Is there evidence that Promise Program students benefit from the rigor of the program?  

Students in the Promise Program get better grades than students who are not in the program.  Also, due to the criteria of the program, Promise Program students successfully complete more courses, take more units, and are closer to graduating and/or transferring after one year in the program than other students population on campus.

2.    I am a high school student who is not enrolled in Counseling 100. Am I eligible to apply for the Promise Program? 

To be eligible, students must be enrolled in Counseling 100 in spring 2020 to qualify for the 2020-2021 Promise Program. 

3.    I am enrolled in Counseling 100, but I received a non-passing grade. Can I still apply for the Promise Program?

You must complete Counseling 100 (COUN 100) with a grade of C or better in order to be eligible for the Promise Program.  A limited number of COUN 100 seats will be available in summer ’20 for students who receive a D, F, or NP (No Pass) grade in their spring class.  

4.    My parents make over $100,000 a year.  Should I even bother applying for the 2020-2021 Promise Program?

Yes. Our Promise Program does not have income requirements at this time.  You should still submit the 2020-2021 FAFSA or the Dream Act application.  

5.    Will all applicants who meet your program requirements, be accepted into the Promise Program?
There are 1000 spots available in the program, only the first 1000 applicants who have completed their paperwork and have met all program requirements by the deadlines will be accepted into the Promise Program.  After the first 1000 are accepted, students who have completed their paperwork and who have met all program requirements will be placed on a waitlist and will be considered if space becomes available.

6.    What happens if I drop Counseling 100 before the end of the spring 2020 semester?

To qualify for the Promise Program, students must successfully complete the Counseling 100 course (minimum of C grade or P notation).  Appeals to be allowed to take C100 in summer ’20 will be accepted on a case-by-case basis.  

7.    I need to work full-time during the fall 2020 semester and will not be able to enroll in 12 units.  How do I address this issue so that I can still participate in the Promise Program?

To be eligible for the Promise Program, you must be enrolled in 12 units or more to be eligible. Keep in mind that it typically takes 15 units/semester to finish.     

8.    Can my sibling apply too?

If your sibling is enrolled in Counseling 100 and meets Promise criteria, he/she may apply.

9.    My GPA is very low.  Are there any GPA requirements associated with the Promise Program? 

You are still eligible to apply for the Promise Program, however, you should be aware that to continue in the Promise Program during your second year of college, you will need to maintain a 2.0 GPA. 

10.    I am not going to graduate from high school in June due to unit deficiency.  I plan to graduate in the summer.  Am I eligible for the Promise Program?

Students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent to be able to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA or Dream Act application which is a requirement for the Promise Program. If you do not complete your High School Diploma or the equivalent by the end of the summer, you will not qualify for the Promise Program.

11.    I cannot attend one of the four Promise “Family Information Nights” scheduled for December 10, 2019,  December 11, 2019, February 26, 2020 and February 27, 2020.   Does this mean I cannot apply for the Promise Program?

Attendance at the “Family Information Night” is not mandatory. Family Information Nights take place on the dates above from 5:30 - 6:30 pm in room SM 313.  Please connect with your Counseling 100 instructor to get your questions answered, complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA or Dream Act application by the published deadlines.

12.    Your flyer states that Saddleback College promises to pay for my “first two years of college”.  What exactly will be covered if I am accepted into this program? 

If accepted to our Saddleback Promise program, Saddleback College will cover:
Enrollment fees (currently $46 per unit), 
Required Material Fees (if any), 
Required Field Study Fees (if any), 
Required Student Health Fee ($20 per semester)
Textbook costs (up to $500 per semester, for rental or purchase of used/new books)
Supplies or Incidental costs ($100 per semester) 
ASG card ($20 per semester)


13.    I am eligible for book vouchers through other programs at Saddleback College.  Will I also get the $500 per semester Promise Program benefit?

No, with the exception of the EOPS/CARE program*. A requirement of the program is that the Promise students must access all other financial assistance for which they are eligible before accessing Promise benefits. If all of your textbook costs are covered by book vouchers from other Saddleback College programs, then you will not receive an additional $500 per semester for books from the Promise Program. 

*If you are a student who is in the College Promise program and EOPS/CARE 
 Program you are required to completely spend your College Promise Book
Voucher prior to utilizing your EOPS/CARE Book Voucher


14.    Your flyer did not mention paying for parking fees or bus passes or other school-related costs.  Does your program provide assistance with these additional expenses?

If accepted into our Promise program, you will receive $100 (per semester) to help cover cost of transportation, parking, school supplies, or other incidental expenses.  

15.    I am enrolled in Saddleback’s Automotive Technology program that requires us to buy our automotive tools, costing up to $2,000.  If accepted into your Promise program, will the cost of these tools be covered by the program?

The Promise program will not cover the cost of these automotive tools. Students enrolled in our Automotive Technology program are not required to purchase automotive tools as a condition of enrollment.  Some students qualify for financial support to purchase tools via industry-supported scholarships or professional tools from industry suppliers. 

16.    Can I be part of the Promise Program if I enroll in a certificate program such as Cosmetology?

Yes.  The Promise Program will cover tuition and material fees for your two years of college.

17.    I am having a difficult time completing the 2020-2021 FAFSA.  Is there help available?

Yes.  Free financial aid application workshops are held every Tuesday from 4- 5:30 pm on the Saddleback College campus, room SSC 140 or contact the Financial Aid Office at Saddleback College for additional assistance, (949) 582-4860.

    Tuesday, November 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th 
    Tuesday, December 3rd, 10th, 17th
    Tuesday, January 14th, 21st, 28th 
    Tuesday, February 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
    Tuesday, March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st 


18.    I am having trouble completing the California Dream Act Application.  Can someone help me?

Yes. Free financial aid application workshops are held every Tuesday from 4 - 5:30 pm on the Saddleback College campus, room SSC 140 or contact the Financial Aid Office at Saddleback College for additional assistance, (949) 582-4860.

    Tuesday, November 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th 
    Tuesday, December 3rd, 10th, 17th
    Tuesday, January 14th, 21st, 28th 
    Tuesday, February 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th
    Tuesday, March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st 

19.    I don’t meet all of the stated requirements for the Promise program. What can I do to be considered?

Eligibility requirements were established with the student’s success in mind. If you would like your case and specific circumstances taken into account, please complete our Promise Program Appeal form. While your situation will be given full consideration, there are no guarantees that exceptions will be made. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

20.    When will I be notified that I have been officially accepted into the Saddleback College Promise Program?

Saddleback College will start sending out official notifications beginning June 18, 2020 to all applicants that have met eligibility requirements regarding their acceptance into our 2020-2021 Promise Program.

21.    I have a lot of questions regarding your Promise Program and can’t seem to find the answers I need on your Promise website.  Can I speak to a live person?

Yes. Please contact our office at (949) 582-4566 if you need additional assistance or need more information.