5 Things to Know to Score a Detroit Promise College Scholarship
When was it created?
The Detroit Promise grew out of an effort in 2013 by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber, which helped raise funds for the Detroit Scholarship Fund. In March 2016 the program was expanded to allow all Detroit students who graduate from any high school in the city — public, charter or private — a guaranteed two tuition-free years of community college. The program was expanded for a second time in late November to cover four years of education for students with good grades.
What exactly is the Detroit Promise and how can it be used?
The Detroit Promise is a last-dollar funding mechanism to provide eligible students money to cover the costs of tuition and fees. This means that any federal Pell Grant or TIP — Tuition Incentive Program — funding will always be applied to a student's bill first. At two-year colleges, the Detroit Promise will be billed for any remaining balance up to the full cost of tuition and fees. At four-year schools, any balance after Pell/TIP funds are applied will be covered using institutional aid and a contribution from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation through the Detroit Promise. According to officials, Detroit Promise funding is not competitive and every student who registers and meets the requirements will receive funding if their respective college determines there's a need. Funding cannot be applied to out-of-state schools.
How can students qualify for free tuition at community colleges?
Students must be Detroit residents and attend any public, charter, alternative or private high school within city limits for at least their junior and senior years and graduate on schedule (typically June of current school year). Students who receive a high school diploma or GED will qualify. Students must also complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by June 30 of this year and register for the Detroit Promise by June 30. There is no grade point average or standard testing requirement. Henry Ford College, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College and Wayne County Community College District are participating schools, according to the Regional Chamber.
How can students qualify for free tuition at four-year universities or colleges?
While some of the requirements that apply to the program's community college requirements, there are a few additional rules for students to qualify for the four-year scholarship. Students are required to attend all four years of high school in Detroit, obtain a high school diploma, have a minimum 3.0 grade point average as of Feb. 1 of their senior year and a minimum 21 ACT or 1060 SAT score. According to the Regional Chamber, only counselors or college advisers can determine a student's eligibility requirements for four-year tuition assistance.
Can the four-year scholarships be used at any Michigan university?
The state's universities have been split into two categories: unlimited partners who have no limit to scholarships for Detroit students and limited partners who have a limited amount of scholarships reserved for Promise students.
For more information about the program, call 313-596-0478 or visit detroitchamber.com.