Monday, June 27, 2011

Communities and Their Promise to Educate Their Kids

Several cities now offer public school graduates in their community the chance to attend college without the burden of tuition or debt.  One of the pioneers is Kalamazoo,Michigan.  Starting in 2005, kids who attended Kalamazoo Public Schools could get tuition paid for 65-100% of costs to Michigan public colleges and universities, depending on how long (one to thirteen years) that they attended Kalamazoo Public Schools, regardless of GPS.  It’s funded entirely by private donations.

Now the city of Detroit is following suit.  In 2009, it was first offered to graduates of Cody High School, and expanded the following year to graduates of Cass Tech, Central, Cody, Douglass, Pershing and Trombly High Schools.  For the classes of 2011-2014, it has been extended to all graduates.  Seniors must apply early in their senior year.

In Toledo, the UT Guarantee holds the offer of tuition guarantees at the University of Toledo for all Toledo Public School graduates who are Pell-grant eligible and have GPA of 3.0 or better.  Recently, the university extended that offer to public school students across Ohio and in Monroe County, Michigan, just north of Toledo. 

Universities and communities in other parts of the country have such programs, too.  Georgia Tech has the G Wayne Clough Promise Program, in which incoming freshmen from anywhere in Georgia can receive aid from the scholarship program and other sources to create a debt-free scholarship to attend that school.

In Denver, the Denver Scholarship Foundation has a program for Denver High School students who have attended the schools for the last 3 consecutive years, have at least a 2.0 GPA, and demonstrated financial need.  In Long Beach, California, a partnership between that school district, Long Beach Community College and California State University has resulted in, among other things, a free first year attendance for Long Beach High School grads at LBCC for their first year.

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