Courtesy of The Detroit Free Press
For Detroit high school graduates, the deadline for a chance at a free community college education is only a week away.
June 30 is the last day for those who graduated in the spring to apply for money from the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Scholarship Fund to attend any of the region’s five community colleges.
Chamber officials said 2,380 students have applied so far for a chance to attend Henry Ford Community College, Macomb Community College, Oakland Community College, Schoolcraft College and the Wayne County Community College District.
The chamber announced the scholarships during the Mackinac Policy Conference last month as part of a three-pronged effort to improve education for Detroit students. Gov. Rick Snyder announced funding for the Educational Achievement Authority, Excellent Schools Detroit and the chamber’s scholarship fund.
Afterward, chamber officials visited schools across the city to distribute information about the scholarships and answer questions.
The scholarships come as Michigan grapples with at least 55 financially failing school districts and the hard truth that fewer than a fifth of the state’s students graduate prepared for college each year.
To apply, students must live in Detroit, have attended a Detroit high school for two years, graduated in the spring and completed the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so they can earn Pell grants or Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) funds first. The chamber scholarships cover the difference between the tuition and fee costs and what those funds provide.
The chamber’s goal is to send as many students as possible to college without them being forced to take out loans. Students must complete at least 24 credit hours every year to be considered making satisfactory progress in the program.