Promise Program FAQs

What is the Gateway Promise program?

The Promise program will fill the gap between financial aid received and the cost of Gateway tuition and fees (students are responsible for the cost of books and course materials not covered by financial aid.)

The Gateway Promise is targeted to high school seniors in the Gateway district who graduate on time and meet academic and family income level requirements. It is a multi-year commitment by the college to ensure that all tuition and fee costs are covered for eligible participants for three years (six semesters.) This comprehensive program places unique requirements on students to be enrolled in, and graduate from, their chosen program. Students considering participation in Promise must apply for admission to Gateway by June 1 July 15 (deadline extended) of their senior year. 

Additionally, the Gateway Promise program includes a required kickoff meeting, required Promise Scholars summer college readiness program, academic planning support, job readiness and career planning workshops, international and/or service learning projects and case management.

Does the Gateway Promise cover the cost of books or living expenses?

No, the Gateway Promise program is limited to program tuition and fee costs (not covered by financial aid) for full-time enrollment during three consecutive academic years (six semesters). Please visit your program’s webpage for updated program tuition and fees. Courses must be part of the declared program curriculum. The Promise scholarship for tuition and fee coverage is a maximum of $10,500.

What about financial aid?

The Gateway Promise program requires students to apply for and utilize federal and state grants. Students must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 1 July 15 (deadline extended) of their senior year and be a U.S. citizen, a national or a permanent resident of the United States (Note: Students who do not fall into one of these categories cannot receive Financial Aid.) 

Promise support is calculated after federal and state grants are applied, but before loans, federal work study and non-tuition scholarships. 

Are all Gateway programs eligible for the Gateway Promise program? 

While most Gateway programs are eligible, some programs, such as the Law Enforcement Academy, are not eligible. Please review eligible programs here

Who is eligible for the Gateway Promise Program?

  • On-time high school graduate (OR submit letter of explanation from an official high school administrator verifying your graduation status).
  • Graduate from a high school in the Gateway service district and/or reside in the Gateway service district.
  • Apply for admission to Gateway by June 1, 2023 July 15, 2023 (deadline extended).
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student AID (FAFSA) by June 1, 2023 July 15, 2023 (deadline extended). Code: 005389. Not sure how to fill out this form? Call 1-800-247-7122 to set up an appointment with a Student Finance Specialist. 
  • Meet one of the following multiple measures requirements: earned a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.6 (unweighted), an ACT composite score of 16 or higher OR Accuplacer Reading, Writing and Math scores of 237 or higher.
  • Academic program must meet eligibility requirements for federal and Wisconsin financial aid.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $3,000 or lower.
  • Enroll as a full-time student at Gateway the Fall semester following high school graduation (minimum 12 credits).

What is EFC (Expected Family Contribution)?

All college students are expected to contribute towards their education costs. How much you and your family will be expected to contribute depends on your financial situation — and is what is called your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

Your EFC is a measure of your family's financial strength and is calculated according to a formula established by law. The EFC is used to determine the amount of financial aid that you are eligible for.

The information you report on your FAFSA is used to calculate your EFC. Your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets and benefits (such as unemployment or Social Security) are all considered in the formula. Your family size and the number of family members who will attend college during the year are also considered.

Your family will receive communication through the mail from FAFSA indicating your EFC amount.

Your EFC is not the amount of money you or your family will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive.

What do students have to do to continue in the program?

  • Participate in the required Kickoff Meeting and required summer Scholars program before their first semester at Gateway
  • Develop an academic plan (guided by Gateway)
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (minimum 12 credits)
  • Maintain 2.0 program GPA
  • Attend academic success, career planning and job readiness workshops
  • Participate in an international education project, service learning project, student club or as a student worker
  • Reapply for financial aid each year

What if I don’t qualify for the Gateway Promise?

Gateway welcomes all students to attend the college. With tuition half that of state universities and one-third that of private colleges, Gateway is a high value education option. Look into our tuition payment plans and other scholarships through the Gateway Foundation for continuing students.

Does Gateway provide transportation to the required Promise events?

Busing is provided only during the summer Scholars program for students who have completed the Promise Kickoff event and registered for classes. For more information, please contact Admitted students who are awarded the Gateway Promise are responsible for securing their own transportation to other required events. We understand that transportation across county lines is a concern for many students. Transportation options available include: