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Back to School: Free college with The Kalamazoo Promise

The Promise Starts Here by Ed Roth
The Promise Starts Here by Ed Roth

Quite simply, The Kalamazoo Promise is a scholarship offered to every Kalamazoo Public School student. Depending on the time in the district and income level of the family, students may earn up to 100% tuition at any public State of Michigan university or community college.

You can get an update on how the Kalamazoo Promise is working you can check out ‘Promise’ helping hurting Michigan economy from USA Today. They also have another article about how the Kalamazoo Promise has spawned other free college programs across the country. One of these programs is located in the village of Northport, Michigan: The Northport Promise.

If you want to really geek out on how the program is impacting Kalamazoo, click over to The Upjohn Institute’s Kalamazoo Promise page with research and articles that explore the impact of the Promise. You can get a great historical picture of the program from the Kalamazoo Gazette.

Below you can watch an episode from Katie Couric’s The American Spirit on the Kalamazoo Promise. The episode (from February 2007) refers to a plan to create a “Michigan Promise”. State Sen. Wayne Kuipers (R-Holland) discusses Michigan Promise legislation currently being considered in this editorial.

What can (and should) we in Michigan do to help students prepare for the challenges of the 21st century in this era of spiraling education costs? Let us know in the comments!