Frequently Asked Questions

In order to apply for Promise, you must complete the following steps:

STEP 1: Enroll at Cañada College

STEP 2: Submit Promise Scholars Program Application (accessed via your WebSMART account Home Page)

Student applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, but we encourage students to apply early.
STEP 3: Complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA or DREAM Act Application.

STEP 4: Meet with the Promise Scholars Program Team and Finalize Your Spot.

After you complete and submit your Promise Scholars Program application, you will receive an email to your SMCCD email account which will outline all the necessary steps and actions you will need to take in order to finalize your acceptance into the program. This will include assessment, meeting with a Promise Scholars Program counselor, and attending an orientation.

Yes. You need to submit a FAFSA/California Dream Act Application and list Cañada College on the application. If you are having trouble completing your application, or have questions, please reach out the Financial Aid office at or 650-306-3307.

Students who are eligible to be in the Cañada College Promise Scholars Program must be an incoming first year student. Graduating Middle College and graduating Concurrent students are also eligible to apply. Please note Middle College students must reapply to Cañada as First-Time Students. If you have any questions in regards to Promise eligibility please contact us at

The Promise Scholars Program will provide students who are accepted into the program with financial support for two academic year (Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters) as long as the student maintains the agreed responsibilities below:

  • Enroll full time (minimum 12 units) for fall and spring terms only. Summer is highly encouraged
  • Maintain academic progress, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0, and a completion rate of above 50%.
  • Declare a major 
  • Complete a comprehensive Student Educational Plan (SEP) by start of the spring 2020 semester.
  • Meet with dedicated counselor regularly and participate in program activities

Students receive other wrap-around services, like priority class registration and a dedicated counselor until they graduate or transfer.

Scholars are also eligible to receive monthly incentivized gift cards that can be used either for gas or a campus meal plan.

In addition to the main responsibilities, all Promise Scholars are required to meet with their Promise Counselor, or participate in Promise Scholars Program-approved events/workshops during their time in the program.

Promise Scholars receive a range of benefits, including:

  • Financial: Waivers for college fees (including: enrollment fees, health fee, student rep fee, student union fee, student body fee)
  • Textbooks: Scholars will receive a textbook stipend each semester (including summer)
  • Incentives: If scholars complete monthly assignments such as attending transfer workshops or creating an educational plan, they can receive monthly $50 gift cards that can be used for either gas or a campus meal plan.
  • Academic and Counseling Supports: Scholars are paired with a dedicated Promise Counselor, receive priority registration for classes, and opportunities to connect with peer mentors and other campus resources to navigate the college experience.

One of the most amazing benefits of the Promise Scholars Program is that every student has complete access to a Promise Counselor! Your Counselor is a master’s level trained academic, career, and personal counselor who can assist students in:

  1. Picking out appropriate classes for the semester
  2. Breakdown and explain the different requirements needed to transfer or receive an Associates
  3. Best Cañada Campus student support services to refer you to
  4. Help you create a comprehensive education plan that respects your individual goals and vision

If you would like to schedule an appointment with the Promise Counselor, please contact Ariela Villalpando at 650-306-3568. All Promise Scholars have the option of setting (1) 30 minute appointments or (2) 1 hour appointments.

*Please note certain availability dates may be restricted at specific points in the semester

All incoming, first semester, Cañada students must attend a New Student Orientation before enrolling into the Fall semester and beginning the Promise Scholars Program. Promise Scholars will be required to attend an additional event to review program expectations, policies, and information prior to beginning in the fall semester. New Scholars should check their email and Canvas regularly for updates regarding Promise Scholars orientation and required events.
Life happens and balance in order to be and feel successful is very important. If there is a need to withdraw from a course, Scholars first meet with their Promise Counselor in order to assess the situation and complete the necessary forms and procedures.