We are excited to announce the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship – starting in 2020!

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship will ensure all students who live inside the City of Grand Rapids and graduate from one of the 22 public, charter, or private high schools located within the city limits of Grand Rapids will have free access to Grand Rapids Community College’s Associate’s Degree programs or their job training and certification programs – starting with the graduating class of 2020!

This is an exciting partnership between public, public charter, and private schools to provide more opportunity for Grand Rapids students to continue their education after graduation.

Are you eligible? Ask yourself 3 questions!

calder

Do I live in the city of Grand Rapids?

Students are eligible if they have lived inside the City of Grand Rapids since before they start 11th grade.

If you've lived or gone to school in Grand Rapids from 10th grade or before for you get 100% of the scholarship, from 11th grade you can still get 50% of the scholarship!

school

Do I go to a Grand Rapids School?

Are you planning to graduate from ANY of the 22 public, public charter, and private high school within the city of Grand Rapids. You just need to start going to one of these schools in 11th grade or before.

Again,10th grade or before for 100% scholarship, 11th grade for 50% scholarship!

diploma

Am I going to graduate?

Then you just have to graduate - we know you can do it! If you keep your grades up to stay successful in your high school and graduate, you are eligible for the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship!

If you answered yes to all three questions, you are eligible!

Which High Schools are included in the Grand Rapids Promise Zone?

You must be both a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan and graduate from one of these high schools below since 10th grade to be eligible for the full Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship.

  • Grand Rapids Public School District
    • Grand Rapids City High School
    • Grand Rapids University Prep
    • Innovation Central High School
    • Ottawa Hills High School
    • Union High School
    • Grand Rapids Montessori High School
    • C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy
    • Grand Rapids Public Museum School
    • Grand Rapids Learning Center
    • Southwest Community Campus High School (Opens 2020-2021)
    • Southeast Career Pathways
    • Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
    • Sacred Heart Academy High School
    • Grand Rapids Christian High School
    • West Catholic High School
    • Grand Rapids Adventist Academy
    • Wellspring Preparatory High School
    • Hope Academy of West Michigan
    • Grand Rapids Covenant House Academy
    • NorthPointe Christian High School
    • Plymouth Christian High School
      Lake Michigan Academy

(If you moved to Grand Rapids or started attending one of these schools in 11th grade, you can still get 50% of the scholarship)

Promise Zone FAQs

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Have I been enrolled at an eligible Grand Rapids high school since the beginning of 11th grade?
  2. Will I graduate?
  3. Do I live inside the City of Grand Rapids?

Did you answer yes to all three questions? You are eligible for the scholarship!

Full scholarship:
If you’ve been enrolled at an eligible Grand Rapids high school and resided within the City of Grand Rapids since the start of 10th grade, you are eligible for 100% of the scholarship (starting with the Class of 2020).

Partial scholarship:
If you’ve been enrolled at an eligible Grand Rapids high school and resided within the City of Grand Rapids since the start of 11th grade, you are eligible for 50% of the scholarship (starting with the Class of 2020).

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship is available to EVERY eligible student who lives in the City of Grand Rapids and graduates from ANY of the 22 public, private, or public charter high schools within the City of Grand Rapids. This scholarship is NOT limited to Grand Rapids Public Schools students.

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority and all of the partners involved have done their best to remove as many barriers to this scholarship as possible. We want students to graduate high school and remain successful throughout college and as they pursue their career.

This scholarship covers tuition, books, required course materials, and any mandatory fees associated with attending Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) for up to 60 credit hours total. The Grand Rapids Promise Zone scholarship is a “last dollar” scholarship. This means that your federal or state need-based aid is used first, and the scholarship will cover any remaining balance. Students are required to complete their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine eligibility for available state and federal need-based aid. Students who are not eligible to submit a FAFSA do not have to complete the form. Apply for FAFSA here: fafsa.ed.gov

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone and GRCC are also partnering to develop a process which will allow DACA and undocumented students to access the scholarship.

Currently this scholarship is only eligible at Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) for up to 60 credit hours. However, you can transfer those credits to many colleges and universities across the state and country as you continue your education!

GRCC is a great partner because of their high-quality degree programs, job training, certifications, language classes, and other programs that can help every student move forward after they graduate debt-free. More information about GRCC’s programs can be accessed here: GRCC Academic Programs.

To receive a 100% scholarship: You need to live continuously within the City of Grand Rapids AND be enrolled continuously in an eligible high school since the first day of 10th grade.

To receive a 50% scholarship: You need to live continuously within the City of Grand Rapids AND be enrolled continuously in an eligible high school since the first day of 11th grade.

Those who move to Grand Rapids or start at an eligible high school in 12th grade are not eligible for this scholarship.

To receive a 100% scholarship: You need to live continuously within the City of Grand Rapids AND be enrolled continuously in an eligible high school since the first day of 10th grade.

To receive a 50% scholarship: You need to live continuously within the City of Grand Rapids AND be enrolled continuously in an eligible high school since the first day of 11th grade.

Those who move to Grand Rapids or start at an eligible high school in 12th grade are not eligible for this scholarship.

  • Grand Rapids Public School District
    • C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy
    • Grand Rapids City High School
    • Grand Rapids Learning Center
    • Grand Rapids Montessori High School
    • Grand Rapids Public Museum School
    • Grand Rapids University Prep
    • Innovation Central High School
    • Ottawa Hills High School
    • Southeast Career Pathways
    • Southwest Community Campus High School (Opens 2020-2021)
    • Union High School
  • Grand Rapids Adventist Academy
  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central High School
  • Grand Rapids Christian High School
  • Grand Rapids Covenant House Academy
  • Hope Academy of West Michigan
  • Lake Michigan Academy
  • NorthPointe Christian High School
  • Plymouth Christian High School
  • Sacred Heart Academy High School
  • Wellspring Preparatory High School
  • West Catholic High School
A process is being developed in partnership with Grand Rapids Community College and the eligible high schools to identify students who are eligible for the scholarship. It is our hope that we can identify eligible students who are on track to graduate in the Class of 2020 and send an award letter by February 29, 2020. This award letter will include next steps to accept and use the scholarship.

No. Students can attend college part-time. However, while enrolled in college, students must register for at least 6 credit hours per semester (does not apply for the Summer semester).

Students have five years from high school graduation to utilize the scholarship. Students do not have to be continually enrolled in college during those five years.

No. We believe if you are prepared enough to graduate from a Grand Rapids high school, and are excited to continue your education, you should be given the resources to do so. Therefore, there is no GPA or attendance requirement for this scholarship. However, admissions criteria for Grand Rapids Community College will be in effect. For more information about admissions criteria, please visit grcc.edu.

FAFSA
In order to be eligible for the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship, students must apply for federal student aid by completing and submitting a FAFSA form at fafsa.ed.gov.

Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) is partnering with the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship to host FAFSA events for students and families. Additionally, students can schedule an appointment with a GRCC financial aid specialist or walk in during Enrollment Center business hours to receive assistance – more information is available at: https://www.grcc.edu/financialaidscholarships.

FAFSA is the form all students must submit to apply for state and federal student aid. Once you’ve submitted a FAFSA, the government will determine your need based on a variety of factors and award financial aid to the student. The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Scholarship covers the remaining costs for tuition, books, required course materials, and mandatory fees after state and federal need-based aid is applied.

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone and GRCC are also partnering to develop a process which will allow DACA and undocumented students to access the scholarship.

Stay Successful at GRCC
Students must maintain their educational excellence by adhering to the Grand Rapids Community College standards of academic progress. More information can be accessed here: grcc.edu/studentrecords/aboutacademicstanding

No.

Tax increment financing (or “tax capture”) is a mechanism that has been used to support various economic and community development projects, usually projects that involve construction and infrastructure improvements. The State of Michigan is the first unit of government to use tax increment financing to expand higher education opportunity.

After a Promise Zone Authority captures half of the incremental growth in the City of Grand Rapids State Education Tax (SET) to help fund its scholarships. The SET is a six-mill property tax levied on all property in the state that has not been exempted for some other purpose. Tax capture is automatic under the law. No annual appropriation from the Legislature is required. When tax revenues grow, a set share of that new revenue is captured for a purpose specified by law. However, if tax revenues are stable or decline, tax capture can be reduced or interrupted for one or more years.

You can either fill out the form below for more information. 

Or you can email promisezone@grcc.edu or call 616-234-4321

To meet its scholarship liability, the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority will need to fundraise $3 million from private or corporate donors or short-term loans – $950,000 to cover the first year of the scholarship, $1.45 million for the second year, and $600,000 total for years three, four, and five.

Grand Rapids Community College has committed $500,000 toward the scholarship.

Anonymous donors have agreed to provide sufficient upfront funding to enable us to raise $3 million over the next five years.

A Promise Zone Authority is a team of eleven people who run a Promise Zone in a specific community in Michigan. Nine members are chosen by a Promise Zone executive, like a school superintendent or mayor. Two members are chosen by the Michigan Legislature leaders. In an effort to gain more private sector involvement, a maximum of three members of a Promise Zone Authority can be public officials. The Promise Zone Authority creates a development plan which details their community’s Promise, how it will be funded, when it will begin, the extent of a degree that will be covered by the scholarships, and if the Promise scholarships will be extended to any additional categories of students.

Use the form below to request more information

You can also reach us by emailing promisezone@grcc.edu or calling 616-234-4321

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