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An experiment in Oregon is expected to increase enrollment in higher education in the Beaver State by thousands, the Oregonian reports.

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The state's " Oregon Promise" program entails granting free community college tuition to graduates of Oregon high schools with a grade point average of at least 2.5. It will cost almost nothing to the state, or students, thanks to free federal student aid that is already available to most Oregon high school graduates who enroll in community college.

Officials expect that some 7,000 students, or nearly 20% of all public and private high school graduates in the class of 2016, will take up the state's offer, the Oregonian reports.

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If that happens, the influx would represent almost a 25% increase in new high school graduates enrolling in community college.

"The high school class of 2016 is being showered with promotional materials to make sure all seniors know about the new offer," the Oregonian reports.

The program is modeled after the Tennessee Promise program, established last year on the same principals. In that state, the share of new high school graduates who went on to a state university, college or community college surged 13% in the first year.

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It's part of a larger network of "Promise" programs that began unfurling across the country when Kalamazoo, Mich. announced the creation of its program in 2005, according to the New Haven Independent.

The mayor of New Haven called his city's program, unveiled in 2010, “the most significant announcement ever made in New Haven,” one that will answer the questions, “What makes a city great?” and “What does it take to help move an entire city forward into a new generation?”

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Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.