Our college district is ready to welcome recent High School graduates as full-time students seeking transfer degrees with a special offer: we’ll help you complete in 5 semesters or less, and when you do, we’ll refund all of your out-of-pocket tuition and fee expenses. 

We have an agreement for La Paz County residents, which started with the high school graduating class of 2019, and we have an agreement for Yuma County residents, which starts with the high school graduating class of 2020. Each agreement is a little different, so read the fine print, and check out our FAQ’s below.

We’re here to help you reach your educational dreams. We’re here to welcome you to the Matador family!

The Promise program directly addresses the college’s ambitious BHAG (Big, Hairy Audacious Goal), a component of the AWC Strategic Plan 2025, of doubling baccalaureate attainment rates in the district.

Sign Up to be a Promise Partner

Attend AWC as a full-time student for consecutive semesters and finish with no out-of-pocket tuition or fees!

Who qualifies:

  • Starting with 2020 High School graduates who finished at any recognized high school in Yuma County (including accredited home school students)
  • Who complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online
  • Who sign a student commitment form to attend full-time*, consecutive semesters
    * Full-time is passing grades in at least 12 credits a semester, or 24 credits a year.
    * Completion of a transfer degree within 5 semesters is required for reimbursement.

How it works:

  1. Graduate from high school in Yuma County
  2. Fill out the FAFSA
  3. Complete a Yuma Promise sign-up form
  4. Attend AWC each semester for up to 5 semesters, taking classes full time (at least 12 credits a semester)
  5. Pay up-front for out-of-pocket tuition and program fees expenses
  6. Upon earning a transfer degree, transfer to a university program in Yuma via one of our 3 state partners: UA-Yuma, NAU-Yuma, or ASU@Yuma, and enroll full-time.
  7. Apply for a refund in full for all out-of-pocket expenses related to tuition and program-related fees

Who qualifies:

  • Starting with 2019 High School graduates who finished at any recognized high school in La Paz County (including accredited home school students)
  • Who complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) online
  • Who sign a student commitment form to attend full-time*, consecutive semesters
    * Full-time is passing grades in at least 12 credits a semester, or 24 credits a year.
    * Completion of a transfer degree within 5 semesters is required for reimbursement.

How it works:

  1. Graduate from high school in La Paz County
  2. Fill out the FAFSA
  3. Complete a La Paz Promise sign-up form
  4. Attend AWC each semester for up to 5 semesters, taking classes full time (at least 12 credits a semester)
  5. Pay up-front for out-of-pocket tuition and program fees expenses
  6. Upon earning a transfer degree, apply for a refund in full for all out-of-pocket expenses related to tuition and program-related fees

What this program does not cover:

  • College-related expenses that are NOT tuition and fees (like textbooks)
  • Living or transportation expenses

Frequently Asked Questions

No, the Promise program is only available to high school graduates starting with the class of 2019 in La Paz County and the class of 2020 in Yuma County.

The Promise program is designed specifically to encourage our students to attend full-time. We know that statistically FT students have more success and more chance of completion than our PT students, so this is designed to encourage that behavior. AWC offers classes during the winter and summer, and as long as you complete 24 credits in an academic year, you qualify. See scenarios below under "What’s the definition of full-time enrollment?"

“Last dollar funding” is money that makes up the difference AFTER students have received the federal financial aid funding they are entitled to, and any additional merit- or need-based scholarship. The Yuma Promise is only designed to reimburse 100% of tuition and fees AFTER students have determined, through FAFSA, what they are entitled to receive from Title IV funding, also known as a PELL GRANT.

“Out of Pocket” is a term just like “last dollar funding” that indicates that AFTER a student has applied for Federal Student Aid through the FAFSA, the Yuma Promise reimburses the remaining costs.

Students have to earn a C letter grade or above in a class for it to count as part of a transfer degree (to take that credit to a university.) Students must complete 24 credits in a year with a passing grade (C or better) to stay in compliance. Students who earn a D or F may repeat a class but must still complete in 5 semesters. See more below.

A semester is Fall semester, or Spring semester. The college also offers courses in Winter and Summer. The requirement to complete in 5 semesters means if you begin in Fall 2020, you would need to complete no later than the end of Fall semester 2022, which is December of 2022. (Fall ’20, Spring ’21, Fall ‘21, Spring ‘22 and Fall ‘22 (if needed)).

Full-time enrollment is 24 successfully completed credits (successful completion is a C grade or better) in an academic year, Summer – Fall – Spring. Summer credits, for the Promise program, come at the beginning of the academic year. Students should plan to make up any remaining credits in the Spring semester to stay eligible. There are many other ways to schedule and earn the required credit. Here are three possible scenarios.

  • Scenario 1:
    • Fall 2020: Enroll in and successfully complete 12 credits
    • Spring 2021: Enroll in and successfully complete 12 credits
      • 12+12 = 24 credits = SUCCESS
  • Scenario 2:
    • Fall 2020: Enroll in 12 credits, earn a D or F letter grade in one 3-credit class
    • Spring 2021: Enroll in and successfully complete 15 credits
      • 12-3 = 9 + 15 = 24 credits = SUCCESS!
  • Scenario 3:
    • Summer 2020: Enroll in and successfully complete 3 credits
    • Fall 2020: Enroll in and successfully complete 9 credits
    • Winter 2021: Enroll in and successfully complete 3 credits
    • Spring 2021: Enroll in and successfully complete 9 credits
      • 3 + 9 + 3 + 9 = 24 credits = SUCCESS!

A credit hour is how colleges and universities typically measure the length and time students dedicate to a class. Most classes are 3-credit hours; in a semester where a student earns 12 credits, they will typically be taking 4 classes that are 3 credits each (4 classes x 3 credits = 12 total credits.) Some Math and Science classes, and a on occasion an English or Communications class will be 4 credits; this indicates the amount of classroom time a class requires to teach the material.

For students to be eligible for the Yuma Promise, they have to prove that they have applied to, been accepted to, and enrolled full-time in a Yuma-based or entirely online program offered by an Arizona public university: University of Arizona in Yuma (UA-Yuma), Northern Arizona University in Yuma (NAU-Yuma), Arizona State University @ Yuma (ASU@Yuma), or a fully online program at one of these three schools. Students must prove this status within one semester of graduating from AWC, which means by the Fall or Spring following their graduation from AWC.

No, the Promise Program is designed to reimburse you upon completion of all required steps of the program. For the La Paz Promise, that’s completing an Associate’s Degree in 5 semesters (or less). For the Yuma Promise, that’s completing an Associate’s Degree in 5 semesters (or less) AND enrolling full-time at one of our state University partners right here in Yuma County: NAU-Yuma, UA-Yuma or ASU @ Yuma. Because it’s a reimbursement, it’s not considered a scholarship.

You absolutely can live in the dorms, but the Promise Program doesn’t cover living or food expenses. It also does not cover equipment or books.

Yes! Please complete the Student Commitment form on the web site and indicate your homeschool status.

Just like any hardship, our Business Office will take your situation into consideration. If you have a planned leave of absence (i.e. surgery or deployment) please notify AWC with an email to promise@azwestern.edu.

The Promise Program will only reimburse you for one Associate’s Degree at AWC, but a few extra classes are understandable, especially for students who are still deciding what to major in. Please remember, though, you have to complete in no more than 5 semesters.

No, because our entire goal is your successful completion. If you need less than a full schedule for your final semester with us, as long as you finish your transfer degree and fulfill all of the other requirements you are still in compliance and eligible for the refund.

Absolutely! Students might bring college credit with them from AWC classes they took while still in high school. If you finish in less than 5 semesters and fulfill all of the other requirements you are still in compliance and eligible for the refund. Remember that the Promise program only applies to expenses you incurred AFTER you completed high school, so it won’t reimburse for any classes taken before your HS graduating class completes.

If you finish a year early, upon graduating with the class of a Yuma or La Paz County high school you are eligible to sign up for the Promise program. If you finish a semester early (say you finish in December) you are eligible to begin with the rest of your graduating class no sooner than Summer of the year the class graduates, and the Promise program commences for you after the normal end of the high school academic year.

First of all, the responsibility to stay in compliance is with the student. The student must initiate the relationship by signing the Promise Student Commitment form and following the other steps, including completing the FAFSA every year. The college is dedicated to your success and is working on a system to help track students and tips for compliance and completion.

We’re still working out details, but it will be some official proof of full-time enrollment in a Yuma-based (or online) program offered by one of our three state university partners, NAU-Yuma, UA-Yuma or ASU@Yuma.

Yes, as long as they qualify and fulfill all the other requirements, including FAFSA, full time enrollment, and transferring to a local University program.

Contact Info

Phone: (928) 344-7550
Fax: (928) 344-7543
Location: 3C - Top Floor
Hours:

Monday - Thursday: 7:00am - 7:00pm