DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a promise to students in the Detroit Public Schools: Stay in school, and we’ll help you go to college.

Dr. Nat Pernick started the Detroit College Promise, which provides $500 scholarships for Detroit students.

“We want to send the message that sudents, regardless of their financial means, can go to college if they want to,”  Pernick said.

This is the fourth year of the program, which has registered more than 3,000 ninth grade students. Last year, the Detroit College Promise awarded scholarships to 161 students, totalling $46,000.

“We also helped the students get other money.  In total, $1.4 million just for the first year of college, besides the money we gave them,” Dr. Pernick said.

Pernick said the program is open to any student who lives in Detroit, goes to a Detroit high school for four years, and wants to attend a Michigan college or university.

“When they register, they take a pledge to be the best student they can be. We think that helps motivate them. We send them email newsletters and tell them about other scholarships and financial help for college,” he said.

Students in kindergarten through ninth grade can register for the program. The registration deadline for ninth graders is December 1.

For more information on the Detroit College Promise, visit

Comments (2)
  1. What Price Education? says:

    $500 won’t even cover the book costs for 4 college courses. $46,000/161 = $285.72 per student. The last time I looked students have to mortgage their lives to attend an upscale ranked university. And then there is no guarantee the student will find a degree fitting job. Considering the poor infrastructure condition of America the smart thing to do is go into the trades profession.

    1. Greg Bowman says:

      Yes, you’re right. 500 dollars won’t begin to cover the cost of a college education. But the Detroit College Promise is a new program, and plans to continue increasing the scholarship amount when funding permits.

      Also, if you read the story, you saw that the program also helped students receive one point 4 million dollars in other grants and scholarships. The important thing is to get them thinking about college and registering for the program. So it’s not the total answer, but the Detroit College Promise is a good start.

      Thanks for your interest in the story.

      Greg Bowman

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