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Promise Scholars


This innovative program is designed to ease transfer from Richard Bland College (RBC) to William & Mary (W&M) for high-ability, Virginia residents who are eligible for a Pell Grant. The Promise Scholars Program will provide W&M courses at RBC, scholarship funds, guaranteed housing, peer-to-peer support, and mentorship to eligible students who have committed to transferring to W&M. One W&M faculty member will travel to RBC’s campus to teach one general education course each semester of the sophomore year, giving students the opportunity to experience W&M while at RBC.

  • RBC will recruit incoming freshmen to be provisionally accepted as Promise Scholars candidates.
  • A select 15 rising sophomores who have achieved academic excellence and proven their commitment to leadership and public service will become Promise Scholars.


To learn more email honors@rbc.edu

Kayla Hand

Richard Bland College ‘19
William & Mary ‘21
Career Goal: Physician Assistant

“Richard Bland is preparing me to realize my dream of attending William & Mary. Through Promise Scholars I will be able to transfer to W&M after graduating from RBC and earn an ivy-league degree with little or no debt.”

Program Requirements

  • Desire to attend William & Mary
  • 3.5+ high-school GPA or 3.25 college GPA (exceptions are made for extraordinary circumstances)
  • Virginia resident
  • Commitment to live on campus at RBC
  • Accepted for general admission to RBC
  • Promise Scholars application submitted (see application process below)



  • FAFSA results in eligibility for Pell Grant (FAFSA application must be completed each year)
  • Two full years of coursework completed at RBC and graduate with an Associate’s Degree (regardless of the number of transfer credits brought to RBC)
  • Promise Scholars (provisional and accepted) must meet academic benchmarks and fulfill Honors Program requirements
  • Financial Information

    • FAFSA results in an “Estimated Family Contribution” (EFC) and must be completed each year. This is used to determine the amount of Pell funding each student can receive.

      At Richard Bland College:

      Direct Cost Per Year
      (Tuition, Fees, Room, & Meals)
      Promise Scholars are assured to receive 80% of direct cost. 80% of Direct Cost is based on 15 credit hours per semester, basic housing, and basic meal plan.
      Financial Aid Award Example
      (Based on $1,000 Estimated Family Contribution from FAFSA)
      $18,139$2,000 Promise Scholarship
      $16,139$1,000 Honors Scholarship
      $15,139$4,970 Federal Pell Grant
      $10,169$6,541 Grants & RBC Scholarships
      $3,628 (20% of direct cost remaining)$14,511 Total Awarded in Grants/Scholarships (80% of direct cost)
      Note: RBC will also award $5,500 in loans for freshman students to assist with the additional 20% of direct cost.

      At William & Mary:

      As part of the transfer process to W&M, Promise Scholars must complete the FASFA and CSS PROFILE. For more information about financial support, please visit this site.

      Cost of AttendanceAid Package Example
      $39,555$1,000 Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
      $38,555$3,000 Promise Scholars Award
      $35,555$4,970 Federal Pell Grant
      $30,585$30,585 W&M Need Grant
      $0$1,000 Federal Student Loan
      $39,555 in Total Aid
  • Application Process

    • Students must submit an online application.

      Application deadlines
      May 3, 2024

      Interview dates*
      Zoom interviews with be scheduled with each applicant.
      *RBC must receive your FAFSA results in order to interview.

      Required application materials:

      • Completed Richard Bland College admissions application (must be accepted prior to applying to Promise)
      • FAFSA results sent to RBC (school code: 003707) for the upcoming academic year (must be received prior to applying for Promise)
      • Submitted Promise Scholars application
      • Essay (300-500 words) discussing your career goals, how you plan to obtain your goals, and why you wish to transfer to William & Mary after graduating from RBC (uploaded with your Promise Scholars application)
      • Resume listing academic, volunteer, and work experience (uploaded with your Promise Scholars application)
      • If you are a sophomore applicant, provide the name and email address of your Learner Mentor and two RBC instructors to provide references for you (uploaded with your Promise Scholars application)

      The results of the application process will be reviewed and ranked.

      • Select applicants will be contacted for interviews
      • Interview times will be assigned
      • Following the interview, select candidates will be accepted and notified of the results
  • Coursework @RBC

    • All Promise Scholars are Honors students and are required to complete Honors coursework during their time at RBC. In addition, the Promise Scholars program provides W&M courses. One W&M faculty member will travel to RBC’s campus to teach one general education course each semester of the sophomore year, giving students the opportunity to experience W&M while at RBC. Information about the Honors Program can be found here.

William and Mary


Promise Scholars will be guaranteed housing their first year at W&M. Focused attention will be provided to assist their academic and social success on campus via faculty advisors, a career center, and residential counselors. Financial support and college work-study will alleviate the stress associated with cost.

William & Mary has an excellent track record of academic rigor, strong alumni relations, and career preparation. Students attending W&M are focused on scholarship and professional success. If this describes young people you know, please refer them to Richard Bland College of William & Mary.

The Promise Scholars program is one of three opportunities to experience W&M at RBC. Other options include:

  • Guaranteed admission pathway for transfer students with a 3.25+ GPA and meeting all conditions of the agreement
  • Bridge program for qualified students to take courses at W&M and pay RBC tuition
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