What is the Detroit Promise?

The Detroit Promise is a last-dollar scholarship that ensures all eligible Detroit residents have a tuition-free path to an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or technical certificate at participating academic institutions. 

Interested students should check with their school to ensure that their desired degree or technical certificate is Pell-eligible. Programs that are not Pell-eligible cannot be covered by the Detroit Promise. Detroit Promise funding is not competitive; every student who registers and meets the requirements will receive funding if their college determines they have an eligible funding gap.

As a last-dollar scholarship, any Pell or TIP funding will always be applied to a student’s bill first. The Detroit Promise serves to cover any eligible funding gap.

  • At community college schools, the Detroit Promise will be billed for any remaining balance up to the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees*.
  • At university schools, any balance will be covered using gift aid as arranged by the participating institution and a contribution from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF).

Detroit Promise History

In 2011, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder announced his intention to provide Detroit high school graduates with a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. 

Since 2013, the Detroit Regional Chamber has administered the Detroit Promise, which is funded by the Michigan Excellence in Education Foundation. The Promise has since expanded to include bachelor’s degrees from four-year schools. 

In 2016, Detroit mayor Mike Duggan announced the genesis of the Detroit Promise Zone authority, its purpose being to dedicate a portion of tax dollars to permanently fund the two-year scholarships. Years later, with support from the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation*, the Detroit Promise Authority remains committed to giving every Detroit-residing student an opportunity to achieve a postsecondary degree regardless of their financial situation.

What is the Detroit Promise Path?

The Detroit Promise Path is a student success program that assigns a Campus Coach to all Detroit Promise community college students. Campus Coaches provide mentorship by connecting students with on-campus resources, supporting their educational journeys, and helping them achieve their goals. Learn more about the Detroit Promise Path here.

*For the avoidance of doubt, all parties acknowledge and agree that the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation’s sole obligation hereunder is to administer the Detroit Promise on behalf of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and neither the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation nor any of its affiliates have any other obligations hereunder, including, without limitation, any obligations for funding to the Member/Partner Institution universities and colleges or to the Detroit Promise Scholar students.

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