Kalamazoo Promise

KALAMAZOO, MI -- More students are graduating on time from Kalamazoo Public Schools, according to new state data, but the district continues to lag behind state averages. Data for the Class of 2014 shows that 69 percent of students who entered ninth grade in fall 2010 graduated on time four years later, while 13 percent dropped out and most of the remaining 18 percent were still in school. (Kalamazoo Gazette)


The featured speaker for this year's ISAAC Banquet in Kalamazoo says the "Pittsburgh Promise" and similar programs create "wonderful opportunities." But the Reverend John C. Welch says challenges remain for poorer families to take full advantage of free college. 


Planning has started for celebrations to mark the tenth anniversary of the Kalamazoo Promise.

The privately-funded college scholarship for graduates of the Kalamazoo Public Schools was announced in November 2005. It was the first program of its kind in the nation. Since then, Promise officials say it has provided more than $60 million to help almost 4,000 students to on to college. The program covers tuition at all public colleges and universities in Michigan as well as at a number of private institutions like Kalamazoo College.


Upjohn Institute Researcher Michelle Miller-Adams spends a lot of her time examining how the Kalamazoo Promise is working and how other communities are trying to develop their own programs. 

Comparison of post-secondary outcomes for Kalamazoo area schools