About The MATC Promise


The MATC Promise (matc.edu/promise) opens the door to college by helping low-income students with tuition support to realize their dream of attending college and advancing into good-paying careers. The Promise provides free tuition for up to 75 credits for students that meet entrance and continuing criteria. To maintain eligibility, students must maintain a 2.0 GPA and earn a minimum number of credits per semester. Promise students have a dedicated cross-college team to assist with counseling, advising, financial aid, academics, financial planning, and other student needs.

Launched in fall 2016, the MATC Promise was the first scholarship of its kind in Wisconsin, providing free tuition to students coming directly from high school to MATC. Promise programs across the country are designed as a public-private partnership where privately-raised funds are used to fill the gap between a students’ financial aid grant and the cost of tuition and fees. Donors have provided hundreds of gifts to date ranging from $5 - $500,000.

MATC has made significant program expansions since its launch.

  • First, in 2018, MATC expanded beyond high school students by launching one of the nation’s first adult promise programs to support those who started college but have not yet earned a diploma or degree. These students are limited to studying associate degree or technical diploma programs that are directly tied to careers ranked as in-demand by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. A list of eligible programs can be found here [link].
  • Second, in 2019, MATC expanded scholarships again by offering the MATC ReStart, with scholarships for eligible returning students to pay off up to $1,500 of a past-due balance owed to the college for items such as tuition, books, and other fees. Paying off debt re-opens access to Pell and other public grants to individuals of lower incomes. Both approaches are helping to re-engage and upskill underemployed adults knowing that the cost of earning a degree is out of reach for the working adults in low-wage jobs.
  • In 2021, we expanded the program to offer free tuition to those who complete a non-traditional high school credential through MATC.



Free tuition scholarship has provided 500+ “last-dollar” scholarships
totaling $2.8 million since established in Fall 2016

MATC Promise for High School*

The MATC Promise for New High School Grads was the first Promise program in Wisconsin. Highlights from 2021 include:

  • 1,400+ qualified New High School Grads students served since 2016-17;
  • 300+ students have completed an MATC certificate, technical diploma or associate degree; and
  • 200+ have transferred on for further education.
  • MATC Promise for New High School Grads students maintain a graduation rate that is double that of the college’s overall graduation rate.
  • MATC Promise earning non-traditional high school credentials at MATC including General Educational Development (GED), High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED) and/or Adult High School diploma are eligible to apply for the Promise.


The MATC Promise for Adults offers free tuition to eligible adults ages 24 and older who started but never completed a degree.

  • Over 1,400 qualified Adult Promise students served since Fall 2018; and
  • 300+ students have completed an MATC certificate, technical diploma or associate degree.
  • During Fiscal Year 2022, Adult Promise students were retained at MATC at a rate of 84%, which far exceeds the 59% retention rate for part-time students.
  • In all, over 600 students have completed an associate degree, technical diploma or certificate.
  • In 2021, MATC also started a new Back to School Fund as a first-come, first-served scholarship to support costs beyond tuition, such as books and equipment. Promise students also have access to the MATC Emergency Grant Fund to support financial emergencies for up to $500.

*Update as of 3/8/23

More Information

View/Download our Impact Report (pdf)

Contact Laura Bray, Executive Director at 414-297-6048 or braylm@matc.edu

Mailing Address:
MATC Foundation Inc.
700 West State Street, M66
Milwaukee, WI 53233


Phone: (414) 297-7687

MATC Promise History:

In Fall of 2016, the MATC Promise was launched and was the first program of its kind in Wisconsin making college an option for high school students who never thought it was possible.

In 2018, MATC expanded the Promise program for adults aged 24 years and older who started but never completed a degree. Eligible students must enroll in an associate degree program linked to one of Wisconsin’s top 50 in-demand careers.