On Nov. 10, 2005, Dr. Janice Brown, the superintendent for the Kalamazoo Public Schools, announced the initiation of the “Kalamazoo Promise.” Kalamazoo became the first city in the United States to provide full scholarships to any public college in Michigan for all graduates who had received their elementary and secondary schooling in the Kalamazoo Public Schools. Since the establishment of the Kalamazoo Promise in 2005, Promise-type programs have been initiated in numerous other cities in the U.S. Funding for the Kalamazoo Promise is being provided by a small group of anonymous donors.
The Kalamazoo Promise provides an unparalleled opportunity to engage and energize the Kalamazoo community in building a world class educational environment in the Kalamazoo area. Western Michigan University is committed to playing a valuable role in making that happen. WMU’s commitment involves efforts to ensure the success of the Promise scholarship students at WMU and involvement in other programs and projects pertaining to the Kalamazoo School District youth both in the schools and in the community. This website details the involvement of Western Michigan University with the Promise.
10 Things You Should Know
- The Kalamazoo Promise is for all students of the Kalamazoo Public Schools.
- You must reside within the boundaries of KPS.
- You must have at least all of the high school years (grades nine through 12) in KPS (enrollment and residency) and graduate from KPS (Central, Loy Norrix, Phoenix).
- The Kalamazoo Promise will not end. It is set up to go on for many years to come.
- The Kalamazoo Promise is a four-year scholarship (a bachelor degree or 130 credits, whichever occurs first).
- You have 10 years from the time you graduate from high school to use your Promise scholarship, and can start and stop at any time.
- The Kalamazoo Promise covers tuition and mandatory fees.
- Students sign up for the Kalamazoo Promise at the beginning of their senior year. Meetings are held for all seniors each fall. There are two simple forms to fill out for the Kalamazoo Promise.
- There is an appeal process for students during their senior year, especially for hardship cases (e.g., custody, death in the family, and foster care placement).
- All students using the Kalamazoo Promise at KVCC may attend part time.