WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) – The Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) announced the enrollment of more than 1,400 students into the first group of Rhode Island Promise cohort, joining the freshman class of 4,319 students, according to a press release.

CCRI saw a 47 percent increase in enrollment of first-time, full-time freshmen this fall  as a result of the Rhode Island Promise scholarship program, which is designed to cover the estimated family contribution for Class of 2017 high school graduates after financial aid is applied.

“We are so pleased to welcome all of our new and returning students to CCRI this fall, especially those in our historic Rhode Island Promise cohort,” said Meghan Hughes, president of CCRI, in a press release. “We thank Governor Raimondo and the dedicated members of our state legislature for making this important investment in Rhode Island’s students and in our college.”

Since the state budget just passes a month before the start of classes, students had a short window to apply, secure the financial aid, take placement testing and choose their classes.

According to CCRI, several college departments, including admissions, financial aid and advising, collaborated for the college’s two Rhode Island Promise enrollment days on Aug. 10 and 17. On these days students could find all everything they needed to apply in one location and also served Promise students in one-on-one appointments throughout August.

Hughes said this is a “tremendous win” for the college and the state of Rhode Island.“The work our college community did to successfully launch the Promise scholarship at CCRI is unprecedented,” Hughes said. “To put this work in a national perspective, when a similar model was launched in Tennessee, that system had more than a year to prepare for the launch, along with extra marketing money to make it happen. Tennessee experienced a 25 percent increase in the number of first-time, full-time freshman. Our college had only one month, and no extra marketing money, and we experienced a nearly 50 percent increase.”

The total students at CCRI for the fall semester is currently 14,758/ There students are taking more than 132,000 credits, which is a jump of 4.9 percent compared to last year, according to CCRI.