How does it work?
Students must complete the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to secure any federal Pell and state Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) funding for which they may be eligible. The Detroit Promise will cover any difference between the full cost of tuition plus mandatory fees and the amount of Pell and TIP grants offered to the student at the participating community colleges (listed below). Students will not need to take out loans or apply other scholarship dollars toward their tuition and mandatory fees beyond what they receive in Pell and TIP funding.
Once enrolled at a participating community college, students must register for at least 12 credit hours per semester in a program that meets Pell-eligibility, and students must maintain satisfactory academic progress, and satisfactory academic standing.
Which Community Colleges Participate?
- Henry Ford College
- Macomb Community College
- Oakland Community College
- Schoolcraft College
- Wayne County Community College District
Please visit these sites to learn more about programs of interest and how to apply for admission.
How does the Detroit Promise communicate the scholarship to students?
The Detroit Promise team works in concert with administrators, teachers, parents, community based organizations, faith based organizations, and student leaders to educate eligible high school seniors about the scholarship. The following presentation is used during school visits by Detroit Promise Coordinators. Please feel free to share this presentation with others.
Does the scholarship have a GPA or ACT/SAT requirement?
The Detroit Promise does not have a grade point average or standardized test score requirement.
Does the scholarship cover “out of district” tuition for students who do not reside in a particular college’s district?
Yes. The Detroit Promise will cover all tuition and mandatory fees at any of the participating community colleges.
Can the Detroit Promise be applied to the first two years of a four-year university?
No, the Detroit Promise will only cover the cost of an associate degree or technical certificate at a participating community college. However, Pell grants and TIP scholarships awarded through the FAFSA process can be used at any accredited institution of higher education.
Please note: All funds will be paid directly to the educational institution after the add/drop period of the fall, winter and spring/summer semesters, respectively, as defined by each institution. Payments made will only cover the portion of tuition and fees that is not covered by Pell grants or TIP scholarships.
Can the Detroit Promise be applied to credits earned at a participating community college before a student transfers to a non-participating institution?
Yes, the Detroit Promise can be utilized by students who have plans to transfer to non-participating institutions after they attend one of our participating institutions. We will only cover the cost of tuition and mandatory fees associated with their time at one of the participating community colleges. We will not cover the tuition and mandatory fees for schools that are outside of our network.
How can I confirm that all of my paperwork is in order?
If you are unsure of the status of your Terms & Conditions, call, email, text or DM us. If you are unsure of anything else, for example financial aid, registration, Authorization to Release form etc., contact your school.
How do I avoid having my classes dropped by the school (auto-de-registration)?
As long as you have ensured that your FAFSA is completed, your school knows you are a Detroit Promise Scholar, and you have registered for the appropriate amount of credits, you do not have to worry about classes being dropped. Please contact your school to find out if any information is missing BEFORE the due date.
If I wait until a few days before classes start to apply, register, attend orientation etc., will the Detroit Promise still make sure I am covered?
We will make sure you are covered as long as you meet the requirements and timelines set forth by the Detroit Promise and your school. However, schools do have deadlines and classes do fill quickly. If you wait and you are not able to get into the school or relevant classes, or complete your FAFSA in time, we will not be able to help you that semester.
Are Pell, TIP & the Detroit Promise the same scholarship?
No. Pell is a grant that comes from the federal government; TIP is a grant that comes from the State of Michigan; both are based on eligibility and/or need and are accessed by completing the FAFSA. The Detroit Promise is a privately funded scholarship that covers any portion of tuition and fees that aren’t covered by the grants. Some students find that grants cover their bill; some find that grants only cover a portion; some are not eligible for grants at all. It ensures that every student who meets our requirements is covered regardless of their eligibility for grants.
How do I submit my Authorization to Release and my Terms & Conditions?
Students were emailed a link allowing them to sign and submit paperwork online. If you did not receive this email, or need us to resend it, please contact us immediately. Once this online step is complete, your school and the Detroit Promise team have access to your paperwork.
I went to a four year college for my first year of school, am I still eligible for the two year scholarship?
Yes. You have until the fall of the year following high school graduation to activate the scholarship. Ex. If you graduated in 2013, you must activate he scholarship by fall 2014. Please note that once you begin classes, if you stop taking classes or decide to attend a non-participating school, you will lose coverage.
What is SAP?
SAP stands for Satisfactory Academic Progress, and is the measure used by your school, the federal government and the Detroit Promise to determine your eligibility for funding. In order to meet SAP, you must maintain a 2.0 GPA, pass 66.67 percent of your classes each year, and make sure you are registering for relevant classes that will allow you to graduate in a reasonable amount of time. Talk to an adviser at your school if you need help planning your classes.
I know that grants are not available for summer classes and I don’t want to take out loans. Will the Detroit Promise pay for my summer classes?
Summer funding is not guaranteed. If you want to take summer courses you must notify the Detroit Promise in writing of your need and reasons you would like to be approved. We will approve or deny on a case-by-case.
Can I go to a community college and then transfer to a university?
Yes. You must check with the universities to see how many, if any, of your credits will transfer; different universities will have different rules.
What do I do if I am waitlisted for the class I need to complete my credits?
Being waitlisted for a class is not a guarantee. While you are waiting, you must go talk to an advisor at your school to get an educational plan. This educational plan must show how you can finish your degree within 3 years without taking classes over the summer. Send your educational plan and a letter of appeal to the Detroit Promise explaining why you’d like to be approved to take fewer credits for the current semester.
Is Henry Ford College still a community college?
Yes. They changed their name but they are still a community college and are still partners with the Detroit Promise.
Will I get a refund check?
Only your financial aid office can answer that question. Whether you get a refund depends on the types of aid you receive or accept. Please contact your financial aid office if you have questions.
What do I do if I don’t have money for books?
The bookstore is usually the most expensive place to buy your books. Sometimes you can rent them or buy them used online (chegg.com, amazon.com etc.). You may also have the option of using them on reserve at your school’s learning center, the school’s library, or borrowing them from other schools through MEL or the Inter-library Loan System. Ask your school’s learning/tutoring center AND library for more details.
If I have an IEP is there a limit on the number of credits I can take?
If you have an IEP, you may be eligible for a reduced course load. Your school’s ACCESS center can determine how many credits would be appropriate for you. Talk to an advisor before taking more than the recommended number of credits.