The Detroit College Promise has spent its first two years establishing itself and fundraising, setting the table for it to begin offering its college scholarships to all Detroit Public Schools' 75,000 students in 2011.
The Detroit College Promise
is set up like The Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship
, which provides free college tuition to Kalamazoo graduates thanks to local benefactors. The Detroit College Promise fund is not as large as The Kalamazoo but has been able to provide a $500 college scholarship to a few hundred DPS graduates since it began in early 2008. Last year the average DPS student who received the scholarship also has $9,300 in other scholarship money.
"That's quite a bit," says Dr. Nat Pernick, the executive director of The Detroit College Promise. "For most of them that paid all of their tuition. We'd like to give more than that. We are moving toward The Kalamazoo Promise model."
The Detroit College Promise began offering its scholarships to graduates of Cody High School in 2009. It expanded to six DPS high schools last year and will cover all 33 regular DPS high schools this year. It has registered students in 50 percent of the students in DPS's high schools, and as high as 80 percent in some of the high schools. It's also moving to begin signing up students in grades K-8 in DPS this year.
"The point is to get the students in kindergarten to start thinking about college," Dr. Pernick says.
The Detroit College Promise has raised $150,000 for its scholarship goals from 200 donors
. It has a goal of $10 million, which would provide every DPS student a four-year college scholarship. For information on The Detroit College Promise, click here
or send an email to Dr. Pernick at NatPernick@Hotmail.com.
Source: Dr. Nat Pernick, the executive director of The Detroit College Promise
Writer: Jon Zemke