The OC Promise

Education transforms lives.

But the high cost of college forces many students to give up on their dreams. That’s why we’re partnering with donors to create the OC Promise, a scholarship program that covers the gap between financial aid and the first year of tuition and fees at Olympic College. The program also provides support services to help Promise scholars succeed.

We are now in the third year of our pilot program and we’re excited to announce that we’ve expanded! In addition to accepting 30 students from Bremerton High School for the 2021-22 school year, we also offered the program to 23 students from Olympic High School.

How to apply

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022-2023 ACADEMIC YEAR will open in January for Bremerton and Olympic high school students who expect to graduate in 2022 .

To be eligible for the 2022-23 OC Promise cohort, you MUST:

  • Graduate from Bremerton High School or Olympic High School during the 2021-22 academic year AND 
  • Live in Kitsap County and qualify for in-state (WA) tuition

You MUST complete EACH of the following steps by the application deadline for consideration:

Finally, if selected you MUST:

  • Meet with an OC Promise Coach to develop an educational plan AND
  • Participate in the OC Promise Summer Bridge Program


No. The OC Promise covers the gap between financial aid and tuition and mandatory fees for the first year (three consecutive quarters, starting the fall quarter after high school graduation). The program also provides help with textbooks. Students are responsible for paying for living costs and transportation.

No. You must also complete the applications for admission to OC and for the OC Promise. The FAFSA and/or WASFA determine your eligibility for federal and state aid. The OC Promise application determines your eligibility for the Promise.

Yes. Studies show that high school graduates who enter college immediately are more likely to complete their education. 

Yes. Studies show that students who attend school full-time are more likely to be successful and to complete their degree or certificate. Promise students are expected to enroll in a minimum of 12 credits per quarter.

Yes. There are no income requirements for participating in the Promise. However, all applicants are required to submit the FAFSA or WASFA and complete a financial aid application.

No. The Promise pilot program is for first-time college students. However, Running Start students and others who don’t qualify for the Promise cohort might still be eligible for OC Foundation scholarships. To apply, go to Scholarship deadlines vary, but are typically due no later than April 30 for the following academic year.

You’ll be notified by the first week of June.

A Promising Future

  • “I think it will be an incredible opportunity and have a huge impact on our students. It removes the biggest barrier.”

    Monica Sweet '89
    Monica Sweet '89 Bremerton High School Principal
  • “Imagine being a freshman coming to high school, knowing you can go to college. You build excitement. You’re building this whole vision of not having to work at McDonald’s for the rest of your life.”

    Ed Parks
    Ed Parks Board member of the South Seattle College Foundation, which started a promise program in 2008
  • “The Promise opens doors and builds connections and gets students into the right programs they need to be successful.”

    Sam Ponce
    Sam Ponce Graduate of Ventura College (Ventura, CA) and of the college’s Promise program
Removing Barriers for Bremerton

The OC Promise is a bold plan to provide one free year at OC to Kitsap and Mason county high school graduates. It began with a pilot group of 30 students from Bremerton High School in Fall 2019. Expanding the program to all high schools in Kitsap and Mason counties is dependent upon fundraising.

Here’s what Bremerton High School Counselor Chris Swanson had to say about the potential impact:

What would the OC Promise mean to Bremerton students?

How many Bremerton graduates go on to college or post-secondary training programs?

What percentage of Bremerton students are eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch?

There are more than 200 Promise programs across the country and they’re having some amazing results. Read our story in SUMMIT magazine to learn more:

Contact us to learn more.