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Grand Valley State University Partners on Detroit Promise 4-Year Program, Madonna University Also Signs On

By Daniel Lai

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) is the latest higher education institution to partner with the Detroit Promise program. Officials announced the university’s commitment during a signing ceremony last Friday, making Grand Valley the 13th public university to offer a tuition-free path to a bachelor’s degree for qualifying Detroit students.

“Grand Valley is delighted to become a full partner in a program that puts a college degree within the reach of many more students from Detroit,” GVSU president Thomas Haas said. “Grand Valley has the best graduation rate among Michigan’s regional universities, and we know that college-bound students from Detroit will find their passion and obtain a degree at our university. We’re excited about the partnership with students, the Chamber and the city.”

The Detroit Promise picks up on the work that began with the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Scholarship Fund initiative, Gov. Rick Snyder and the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation (MEEF), by providing a dedicated funding source to guarantee students in Detroit will be able to attend college tuition-free, no matter their economic status. It is funded through a combination of private fundraising through the MEEF and the Detroit Promise Zone, a program created by the state Legislature that allows for the capture of a portion of property tax revenue generated in the city.

“This partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for the city of Detroit,” said Chamber president and CEO Sandy Baruah. “We are honored to have Grand Valley on board, participating in this true partnership among the state, the city and our university and philanthropic communities.”

Citing the long-term economic impact of retaining local talent, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called the Detroit Promise, “one of the most important” initiatives for the city.

There are more than 260 students currently enrolled at a four-year university.

In addition to GVSU, Madonna University also signed a partner commitment with the Detroit Promise.

“We are excited to see Madonna University join the list of participating Detroit Promise partners, offering our students another high-quality university option close to home,” said Greg Handel, vice president of education and talent for the Chamber.

For more information on the Detroit Promise, visit www.detroitchamber.com/econdev or contact Greg Handel at ghandel@detroitchamber.com.

Daniel Lai is a communications specialist and copywriter at the Detroit Regional Chamber. 


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