A new partnership between The Kalamazoo Promise and the Michigan Colleges Alliance (MCA) is expanding the scholarship program to include Hope College and the other MCA liberal arts colleges and universities in Michigan beginning in the fall of 2015.

The Kalamazoo Promise provides tuition support for up to four years to students who graduated from Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS), are residing in the district and have been KPS students for four years or more.  The amount of tuition benefit is graduated on the basis of the student’s continuous attendance in the KPS system.

More than 2,000 students have received awards through the program since 2006.  Prior to the new partnership with MCA, the program was limited to public State of Michigan universities and community colleges.

“We’re excited about the partnership between the Kalamazoo Promise and the Michigan Colleges Alliance,” said William Vanderbilt, vice president for admissions at Hope.  “Hope College, with its distinctive blend of academic excellence and faith development, is glad to be among the options available to Kalamazoo students as they pursue post-secondary education.”

In each case, tuition and fees will be fully and jointly funded by The Kalamazoo Promise and the MCA member institution.  The Kalamazoo Promise will fund at the level of the undergraduate average tuition and fees for the College of Literature, Science and Arts at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  The MCA member institution will cover any difference between that amount and the amount of its yearly tuition and fees.

Janice M. Brown, board member for The Kalamazoo Promise, said, “This opportunity for Promise Scholars is a true measure of access and equity.  The addition of these 15 institutions will increase the number of Promise eligible schools to 58 schools throughout Michigan.”

“The existing Promise institutions, led by Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College (who now serve over 60 percent of Promise Scholars) have done a tremendous job in welcoming, supporting and providing programs at considerable effort and cost,” Brown added.  “These colleges serve as a wonderful model of how to support The Kalamazoo Promise student, and the strategies they have developed are benefitting all of their students.”

Bob Bartlett, CEO of the Michigan Colleges Alliance, said, “This partnership truly is a winning proposition for all.  Promise Scholars will benefit from increased college choice throughout the state, and MCA colleges and universities will be enriched by having these deserving students on their campuses.  We are grateful to The Kalamazoo Promise for creating this opportunity.”

In addition to Hope, MCA member institutions include Adrian College, Albion College, Alma College, Andrews University, Aquinas College, Calvin College, Hillsdale College, University of Detroit Mercy, Kalamazoo College, Madonna University, Marygrove College, Olivet College, Sienna Heights University and Spring Arbor University.

Michigan Colleges Alliance works to strengthen the shared capacity of 15 leading independent, four-year colleges and universities grounded in a liberal arts and sciences tradition, to broaden college choice in Michigan, support access to MCA campuses for students and families, and foster career outcomes for MCA graduates.