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FORUM Vol. 41, No. 21; February 20, 2017


Grand Valley signs on as full partner with Detroit Promise

Grand Valley made it easier for more Detroit high school students to become Lakers. President Thomas J. Haas signed documents in Detroit making the university a full partner in the Detroit Promise.

President Thomas J. Haas shakes hands with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

Photo by Elizabeth Lienau

President Thomas J. Haas, left, shakes hands with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan after signing an agreement that Grand Valley would join the Detroit Promise.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan; Sandy Baruah, CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber; and Peter Remington, president and CEO of the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation, participated in the February 10 signing ceremony at the GVSU Detroit Center. The Detroit Promise, which is funded by the foundation and administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber, ensures that Detroit students graduating from a high school within the city will have a tuition-free path to a college degree. 

"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," said Haas. "We specialize in student success and appreciate the Detroit Promise's requirement that students stay on track to graduation

"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 covers tuition costs not covered by grants and other scholarships students receive. It grew from an initial effort by the Michigan Education Excellence Foundation and the Detroit Regional Chamber to help students from Detroit pursue education beyond high school. 

"Grand Valley is an outstanding university and we are happy to continue to send Detroit's talent to GVSU," said Duggan. "This partnership is one of the most important things we have done in the city to help our top students pursue education at a four-year university."

Grand Valley became the 12th four-year university to participate in the program.

"This partnership is an unprecedented opportunity for the City of Detroit," said 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."

Remington said: "The state is dedicated to making sure students are career and college ready to ensure every child in the city has the opportunity to make choices for continued education."

To qualify for the Detroit Promise, students must be a resident of the city, attend a high school in Detroit, register for the Detroit Promise by June 30, 2017, and be admitted to a participating college.