Promise Scholarships

Although the majority (62%) of jobs in Michigan will require a post secondary education, Michigan residents are unprepared to secure these jobs and the economic security that they will provide.

The Michigan Education Excellence Foundation will raise $25 million to support Promise scholarship programs in Detroit and Flint that aim to reverse this crisis. The MEEF campaign will raise $20 million to fulfill the intention of Governor Rick Snyder to provide the financial means for every Detroit graduate to be able to pursue a college degree. MEEF has also pledged to raise $5 million to support the establishment of a Flint Promise scholarship.
Detroit Promise
The Detroit Scholarship Fund, a precursor to the Detroit Promise Scholarship, was launched with MEEF funds in 2013 to assure Detroit high school graduates had a tuition-free path to a college education. The Detroit Scholarship Fund was designed to fit in with the Michigan Promise Zone initiative. In March 2016, Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit City Council announced the formation of the Detroit Promise Zone (DPZ). With the establishment of the DPZ, Michigan and Detroit leaders will assure that the scholarship program will support Detroit graduates for many years to come.

MEEF funding will support The Detroit Promise Scholarship through 2018 when the DMZ will take over funding. MEEF is also funding a pilot project to explore the expansion of the scholarship to cover four-year degrees and the opportunity for students to attend nearly every public Michigan university and community college.

Administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber, the scholarship program conducts an intensive public awareness campaign to promote and prepare Detroit students to pursue post secondary education. The program also provides students with wrap-around services that begin in high school and continue through community college to assure students remain on a path toward a well paying career and promising future.

Students must register for scholarship and submit a free application for Federal Student Aid by June 30. For more information, visit

Leveraged Funding

The Promise Scholarships are designed to fill funding gaps for students as a “last dollar” solution. The scholarship program works with students to utilize existing public resources, federal Pell and state TIP grants, and then makes up any difference to cover the full cost of college. As a result, the scholarship will leverage as much as $200 million in available financial aid resources for its applicants.

Promise Scholarship: A Key Part of the MEEF Approach

The MEEF campaign will dedicate a significant amount of its campaign efforts on funding the Detroit Promise and Flint Promise scholarship programs; they are a vital part of our approach to create a successful path to a career and productive adulthood. The journey begins with a high quality pre-k program, then innovative approaches to elementary and secondary education, and finally the college credentials and skills needed to secure a position in the 21st century workforce.

MEEF funding will support students as they transition from high school to higher education to pursue important post-secondary learning needed to secure employment that provides a living wage and a high standard of living. In this way, MEEF is building an educational path that will contribute to the overall prosperity and economic opportunities in Michigan.


Through MEEF support, over 1,500 Detroit high school graduates have been able to attend community college full time tuition free from 2013 – 2015.

Of the first participants, over 100 students are poised to graduate with an associate degree from participating community colleges in the spring of 2016.

The Detroit Promise scholarship will assured that every Detroit high school graduate can pursue a post-secondary degree.

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