KALAMAZOO, Mich.—When economists and civic leaders discuss ways to revive this economically buffeted state, the talk quickly converges on the need to dramatically increase the number of high school students who continue their education and graduate from college.
Thanks to a group of anonymous donors, no place in Michigan, and perhaps no place in America, has achieved that goal as quickly and effectively as this mid-sized, post-industrial city. The donors' novel philanthropic fund pays up to 100 percent of the college tuition and fees for graduates of Kalamazoo’s three public high schools—as long as they attend a community college or university in Michigan.
Last June, in the first year of the program, known as the Kalamazoo Promise, 400 students graduated from the three schools and 80 percent took advantage of the offer.
Many other links are available. Wisconsin is also looking at a variation of this.
Providing education for everyone, all of our children, is a requirement for success. Providing a college education for all our children is a community asset that is unparalleled.