What is the Edward Waters College PROMISE?

The EWC PROMISE is a commitment to local high school graduates seeking a four-year bachelor’s degree. 100 students are considered based on financial and transportation needs.  

The Edward Waters College Promise is the first state funded program in Florida for student debt elimination and a debt-free first year.



Who is eligible for the PROMISE?

The Promise serves high school graduates and works with need-based income thresholds for those who seek a degree in the fields of Biology, Business, Communications, Criminal Justice, Elementary Education, Mathematics, Music, or Psychology. All first-time-in-college students are eligible to apply. Must be a commuter student.


How do you qualify for the PROMISE?

  1. Complete the EWC admissions application for the fall 2018 term. To apply, click HERE. Or, contact the Admissions Office at 904-470-8200; admissions@ewc.edu.
  2. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid Form (FAFSA) and be eligible to receive the federal Pell grant. FAFSA website: www.fafsa.ed.gov and EWC’s FAFSA code: 001478.
  3. Receive an acceptance letter from the EWC Office of Admissions.


Edward Waters College is the first Historically Black College and University serving institution in the state of Florida to create a debt-free pathway to a college degree for Pell Grant eligible, first-time-in-college students beginning their higher education. It is also the second in the nation among four-year institutions.


Left to right: Talia Ashley, EWC Marketing and Communications Manager; Chassidy Williams, EWC SGA President; Florida State Representative Tracie Davis; Joy Miller, Vice President of EWC Alpha Chi Honor Society; Dr. Eric Jackson, EWC Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management; Florida Senator Audrey Gibson; Dr. Patricia Willis, Interim Superintendent of Duval County Public School; Jennifer Silva, Vice President of Institutional Advancement; and Dr. Charles Moreland, Director of Community Affairs for Mayor Lenny Curry.


 Purpose of the PROMISE

Students are overwhelmed with college debt and the burden of paying off a “last dollar” amount to pursue higher education. Across the nation, College Promise programs have shown to be highly successful for Pell grant eligible students to more readily persist in their studies, and graduate on time. National studies show that students drop out due to financial barriers which impacts local and state economies. The College Promise is to remove all barriers that prevent students from completion.



Edward Waters College is starting a Promise program with a target cohort of 100 students and a college match of 100 bus passes for transportation. Funding will cover recipients throughout their first academic year and enhanced elements through to graduation with a target of a 4-year completion rate. 


Services Provided

In addition to covering tuition, fees and books, the Program will provide financial, academic and soft-skills seminar training. Full-time, Pell-grant eligible students will receive an academic and student services counselor with requirements to maintain in good academic standing, complete a 75-hour community service program and work directly with an industry mentor to become career ready upon graduation. Students will attend the oldest established College in the state of Florida. In addition, they will receive a comprehensive, culturally-rich education based on Christian principles and educational values focused primarily on community service and financial and economic self-sustainability.


“In making the efforts to establish the Edward Waters College Promise Program, the EWC Community thanks the EWC President, Dr. Nathaniel Glover, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Florida Senate President Joe Negron, Florida Senator Audrey Gibson, Florida State Representative and EWC Alumna Tracie Davis, Attorney Yolanda Cash Jackson, and EWC’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement, Jennifer Silva. Images taken by EWC Student Photographers, Tevin Walker and Kirae Woods.”


The Edward Waters College Promise Program is an initiative of the Office of Institutional Advancement.