SF Promise -You Can Transform a Life and Protect the Bay Area's Economic Future

A new initiative launched by Mayor Newsom, in collaboration with San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) and San Francisco State University (SF State), SF Promise guarantees access to a college education at San Francisco State University to all qualified SFUSD students.

Guaranteed access, however, does not ensure that qualified students will take advantage of this opportunity due to real and perceived financial barriers and socio-economic handicaps. Nearly 60% of SFUSD students entering SF State receive financial assistance, often from families living well below the poverty line. No surprise that only 30% admitted, about 400 annually, actually enroll. SF State and the SFUSD refuse to accept the current statistics for academic underachievement and failure. SF Promise is designed to inspire hope among these students, and their families.

The current total cost to attend SF State is $17,000 including tuition and fees, books and housing. Due to their economic circumstances, the majority of students coming from SFUSD receive state loans and grants to cover most fees, currently about $5,000 per year. The typical funding gap is $12,000 (70%). Of the 30% who enroll from SFUSD annually, 90% are people of color. Shockingly, about 50% eventually drop out due to the socio-economic challenges they face.  


Your Generosity to the SF Promise Fund will bridge the gap in two major ways:

SF Promises
MLK at SF Promise Confirmation Ceremony. 2/03/09

Outreach and Counseling:

This helps provide culturally sensitive pro-college and pre-college advising outreach and counseling with SFUSD students from the 6th through the 12th grades, transfer students from City College of San Francisco and with their parents, on site in their schools, communities and during special field trips and retreats on campus at SF State. A comprehensive range of empowering topics are covered by SF Promise staff – and by community service volunteers from among current SF State-SFUSD students and alumni – from remedial reading, note taking, and computer skills to behavioral health and mindfulness exercises to financial literacy and college application assistance, and many more.


You could help double the number of SFUSD students who actually enroll at SF State from 400 to 800 per year – and help them remain in college – by bridging a huge funding gap that negatively impacts academic success and prevents hundreds more from even applying!


The Bay Area's Future is in Your Hands

SF Promise is designed to support the Bay Area’s economy. By 2005, California had already fallen three million bachelor’s degrees short of what the workforce requires, and this trend continues. With 30,000 students, and 85% of graduates remaining in the Bay Area, SF State impacts the region’s workforce, economic engines and core resources in nearly every sector. This is especially significant in hospitality and tourism, nursing and healthcare, finance, education, animation and electronic gaming, bioscience, and sustainable business industries. SF Promise is almost entirely dependent on private support from our community. It is positioned to be a national model, with a distinctive focus on mid-level “underachieving” students who have strong indicators of potential success but are not among the small number of high achieving economically challenged students who are already being tracked by other initiatives. SF State is building partnerships with those who are committed to revitalizing California’s economy, and understand that we all depend on the next generation to realize their potential. For more information, please contact Mark Kelleher at [email protected] or 415-405-3625