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Detroit College Promise helps DPS students realize college dreams


For many the promise of college can only fulfilled with one thing. Scholarships. To get them you have to start early … and I don’t mean early senior year. The day you arrive at kindergarten is not too soon.

The Detroit College Promise program offers Detroit Public School students money toward college and urges all Detroit Public School students in grades K-9 to register for this universal scholarship. Go to then click on the Student Login button in the right hand corner, then click on New Student and fill in the form. A paper form is available at

If you’re a 9th grader the deadline is December 1 so get busy. It means some dollars will be there for you when you start college. That’s the promise.

“Every year, we hear from graduating seniors who cannot get the scholarship because they did not register on time,” says Nat Pernick, executive director of Detroit College Promise. “Please register today so this does not happen to you.’’

The requirements for the scholarship are simple. Live in Detroit and attend a DPS school.  No specific grade point required. That’s it!  The scholarship is good at any Michigan public college or university you attend full time. That means a minimum 12 credits.  You have 10 years from high school graduation to use the scholarship.

As one would expect the goal is to strengthen the education system of the Motor City, and hopefully have some of the investment returned by the graduates.  And if the city is further repopulated because of it, well then, that’s terrific.

In the past four years 350 students received Detroit College Promise scholarships for a total of $110,000.  The program also aids students by helping them locate other scholarships and grants that may further benefit them. So far it has supported $3.4 million worth of help.

The amount of aid given to students varies from student to student based on the amount needed in aide.  Last year the amount of financial assistance received per student varied from between $110 and $550.  Of course the amount each student can receive is based entirely off of how much money is available and how many are claimed.  However, 100% of all the money contributed goes towards the scholarships.

All students from kindergarten to the 9th grade can sign up for this universal scholarship.  However, 9th graders this year must have it completed by December 1st 2012.  It is important to register by that date, since every year there are seniors who can’t claim the scholarship because they missed the deadline.  To actually receive the money seniors/graduates must fill out some paperwork by July 1 of their senior year.

“If you will it, it is no dream,” says Pernick. “Regardless of your economic and family circumstances, you can better yourself academically and economically by getting a college education.  But how will you pay for it?  Start early, keep looking and be persistent, and you can get more dollars than you might have thought.”

Click here to go to Frequently Asked Questions.

The Detroit College Promise is funded entirely by donations. If anyone reading this wants to donate to you can do so here:

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