Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship approved

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A scholarship that will provide free tuition to high school graduates in Grand Rapids to attend Grand Rapids Community College has been approved.

The Michigan Treasury Department approved the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship and it will start with the class of 2020.

The scholarship funds 60 credits, which is a two-year degree. Students can attend GRCC full-time or part time with the scholarship and have five years to complete their degree. The scholarship will also cover the cost of fees, books and required course materials.

To receive the full scholarship, students must:

  • Graduate from one of the 24 eligible public, public charter or private high schools within the city of Grand Rapids.
  • Constantly attend an eligible Grand Rapids high school since at least the beginning of the 10th grade.
  • Continuously live in the city of Grand Rapids since at least the beginning of the 10th grade.

Students who have attend a Grand Rapids school continuously since the 11th grade will be eligible for 50% of the scholarship. Students who attend a Grand Rapids school for only the 12th grade will not be eligible for any scholarship money.

Eligible high schools include:

  • C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy
  • Lake Michigan Academy
  • Grand Rapids Adventist Academy
  • NexTech High School
  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
  • NorthPointe Christian High School
  • Grand Rapids Christian High School
  • Ottawa Hills High School
  • Grand Rapids City High School
  • Plymouth Christian High School
  • Grand Rapids Covenant House Academy
  • Sacred Heart Academy High School
  • Grand Rapids Learning Center
  • Southeast Career Pathways
  • Grand Rapids Montessori High School
  • Southwest Community Campus High School
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum School
  • Union High School
  • Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy
  • Wellspring Preparatory High School
  • Hope Academy of West Michigan
  • West Michigan Aviation Academy
  • Innovation Central High School
  • West Catholic High School

Students who are eligible for the scholarship will need to submit their Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application each year with DACA and undocumented students exempted.

The scholarship is being funded by Tax Increment Financing, which will pay for half of the incremental growth from Grand Rapids’ State Education Tax. TIF is not a tax increase and usually funds construction and infrastructure projects. Donors and GRCC will also contribute to the scholarship fund.

In a statement, the promise board shared its mission statement.

“The mission of the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority is to support the young people of Grand Rapids as they pursue their aspirations beyond high school by removing financial, societal, and systemic barriers. By tearing down these barriers, the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority board hopes to bridge socioeconomic and racial inequities in educational attainment that exist in Grand Rapids and to pave the way for better opportunities, a better quality of life, and a healthy workforce.”

More information about the scholarship can be found on the promise zone’s website. You can also email promisezone@grcc.edu or call 616.234.4321.

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