Parents of students in Kalamazoo, Michigan don’t have to fret over college tuition. Due to a generous anonymous donation, all students in the Kalamazoo system get to go to college for free.
The program called “Kalamazoo Promise” will dole out tuition fees based on years within the Kalamazoo school system. Students who have been in the system since Kindergarten will have 100% of their tuition paid for. The scholarship amounts are prorated from there.
Most scholarship programs are based on academic achievement. While this sounds perfectly fine, it is often those in affluent community who get the best teachers, best materials, and the newest technology. There are some scholarship programs that are needs based, but the competition is tough. Because this program will send any student within the school system to college, it will level the playing field.
Students will be able to enroll in any public college or university. In order to keep their free tuition, they must maintain a 2.0 grade point average.
Kalamazoo was once a manufacturing center. With factories shutting down and job moving overseas, opportunities for citizens are dwindling. The hope is by providing students a college education, they will have more marketable skills. Also, businesses can be encouraged to move to Kalamazoo because the workforce will be better educate.
It will be interesting to see how this program works out. It not only takes a load off families that are already fighting high gasoline prices and skyrocketing heating bills, but it provides Kalamazoo will a sense of pride and chance for the future.