CCRI releases progress report on RI Promise

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — One year into Rhode Island promise, the free tuition program at CCRI, results of how its doing are being released. According to the report, more Rhode Island students are going to college right out of high school but only a small percentage are on track to actually graduate in 2 years.

Success or failure of these numbers really depends on how you look at it. Just over 60 percent of students who enrolled in CCRI last year are back again this fall for year 2. That’s the good news. The bad news, a small percentage is on track to graduate on time.

CCRI students reflect on how Rhode Island promise has changed their lives.

“When I was in high school it was a lot different, my GPA was lower than it is now and I struggled more. Once I was in this I have an end goal,” says Marisa Stephenson from Tiverton.

Stephenson knew money would be tight when she graduated high school. She’s in the first class of students eligible for the governor’s free tuition program Rhode Island promise and was motivated to meet the GPA and credit requirements to get the second year free too.

“You give students1 year of college for free and get them working hard and you put them on a different trajectory than they might have been on before,” says Sara Enright, the Vice President of Student Affairs at CCRI.

Five of the successful Rhode Island promise students had a roundtable discussion with Governor Raimondo and school officials today after a progress report on the first year was released.

“I think everyone in Rhode Island, most of all the students, should hold their heads up high about what they’ve accomplished,” says Meghan Hughes the President of CCRI.

According to the report, 22 percent of students are on track to graduate on time. That number is low but supporters point to the increase from last year, which was 6 percent.

“The fact that we’ve seen almost a quadrupling of the number of students on path to graduate in two years exceeds my wildest dreams,” says Governor Gina Raimondo.

The program cost $3 million last year and they’re expecting it to cost $6 million this school year.

© WLNE/ABC 6 2018