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Palomar College Learning For Success

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Palomar Promise?

The Palomar Promise is a comprehensive student success program that seeks to increase the college-going rate of local high school graduates.  Through a package of free financial resources and academic support services, WE PROMISE to assist students to enroll in college, stay on track to complete their academic and career development goals, and upon graduation from Palomar College either enter the workforce or transfer to the four-year college or university of their choice.

How do I apply for the Palomar Promise?

Eligible students must first apply to Palomar College by completing the Palomar College admissions application.  Students will then need to join the First Year Experience (FYE) program by completing the FYE/Promise application in their e-services screen.  The deadline to apply to the 2018-2019 FYE/Palomar Promise Program has been extended to August 2, 2018.

Who can apply for the Palomar Promise?

All 2018 high school graduates from an eligible school eligible highschools.

Students must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or California Dream Act application; enroll full-time (a minimum of 12 units) at Palomar College; and agree to participate in the FYE program and follow the FYE Student Success Agreement and Promise Academic Standards.

Can immigrant students benefit from the Palomar Promise?

Yes.  Eligible 2018 high school graduates who are eligible to file a California Dream Act application and meet the eligibility criteria for an AB540 waiver can apply for the Palomar Promise.

Palomar College is committed to protecting the privacy of all students and will not release any personal information to a third party without the permission of the student or by court order.

What are the Benefits of the Palomar Promise?

  • One-year of free course enrollment and related registration fees at Palomar College using a combination of possible state, federal and local funding sources.
  • Up to $700 in text book assistance during the first year of enrollment
  • Specialized academic and career planning with related support services provided through the First Year Experience (FYE) program
  • Priority enrollment during the first year at Palomar College
  • Guaranteed Admission to CSU San Marcos if students meet transfer eligibility requirements

How does a student maintain their eligibility for the Palomar Promise?

A student must agree to actively engage in the FYE/Promise program by enrolling in a minimum of 12 units per semester, meet with a Student Success Counselor to establish a student education plan, maintain a 2.0 GPA while attending Palomar College, and adhere to the FYE Student Success Agreement and Promise Academic Standards.

What financial aid support will a student receive as part of the Palomar Promise?

Upon acceptance to the Palomar Promise Program, participating students will receive the following financial support for up to two consecutive semesters using a combination of possible state, federal and local funding source:

Enrollment Fees for California Residents $46 per unit (up to 19 units each semester)
Textbook Assistance Up to $350 per semester ($700 for the year)
Health Fee $19 per semester
Parking Fee $40 per semester

What academic support will a student receive as part of the Palomar Promise?

The two primary goals of the Palomar Promise program are to increase access to higher education by removing the financial barriers to attend college and to increase college completion by providing a comprehensive set of academic support services from the First Year Experience program.

To be eligible to join the Palomar Promise, students will be required to sign a FYE Student Success agreement and meet with a Student Success Counselor to establish an education plan.  Participating students will be expected to follow their education plan, meet with a Student Success Counselor as needed, and actively participate in specialized academic and career workshops, tutoring services, and financial literacy services.

Why is Participation in FYE Important?

The year-long First Year Experience (FYE) program focuses on providing first year students with the academic resources and support needed to transition successfully to college.  The FYE program encourages academic achievement, social integration and personal success with the assistance of a strong support network of peers, staff and faculty.  Students participate in an orientation and receive individual college planning and financial aid application assistance, referrals to college resources, mentoring and tutoring support.  FYE students also participate in academic enrichment, career and social activities throughout the year to ensure long-term college engagement.

Will the Palomar Promise help me to complete my degree and transfer?

Through their participation in the FYE/Promise program, Promise students will be expected to establish a formal education plan that is streamlined to help them complete their degree requirements in a reasonable time frame.  The FYE/Promise program will also provide access to specialized workshops, tutorial services, and financial literacy workshops throughout the year.

Promise students who complete their degree and meet transfer eligibility requirements for CSU will be guaranteed admission to CSU San Marcos.  Additionally, they will receive priority enrollment at CSUSM and be given a streamline education plan to help them complete their bachelor’s degree in a reasonable time frame.

Are there other Palomar Promise programs students have access to?

In the Spring of 2016, Palomar College entered into a partnership with the San Marcos Unified School District (SMUSD) and The San Marcos Promise to provide financial support to high school graduates from SMUSD.  Through this partnership, called Palomar Promise+, SMUSD graduates who earned at least a 2.5 high school grade point average may be eligible for up to two years of financial support while attending Palomar College, plus two additional years of financial support if students transfer to California State University San Marcos (CSUSM).  More information about the Palomar Promise+ program can be found at:

How is the Palomar Promise funded?

The Palomar Promise not only supports individual students, but contributes to the strength and vitality of our community by increasing the college going rate of our youth and providing quality academic and training programs for those who are entering the workforce.  Through the efforts of Palomar College and the Palomar College Foundation, the Palomar Promise program is working collaboratively with education, business, and government partners to raise funds to support the Promise for many generations to come.

Palomar College and the Palomar College Foundation have established a fundraising goal of $15 million dollars to establish a Palomar Promise endowment.  Our inaugural Promise donors are Follett Higher Education Group, Inc. who pledged $1 million dollars and the Palomar College Foundation who contributed $500,000 to the program.

How do I donate to the Palomar Promise?

Individuals and organizations that are interested in supporting the Palomar Promise should contact the Palomar College Foundation at (760) 744-1150 x2735.

Who do I contact for more information?

For Information about the Palomar Promise Eligibility and Admissions:

(760) 744-1150 x2164
For Information about the FYE/Promise services and activities:

First Year Experience (FYE)

(760) 744-1150 x3931
For Information about contributing to the Palomar Promise:

Debbie King, Acting Executive Director

Palomar College Foundation

(760) 744-1150 x2725