The Community Effect

Posted by Maica Pichler on August 11, 2016 at 8:34 AM

While seeing the benefit of free college tuition for qualifying students is obvious, they aren’t the only beneficiaries. Promise Programs are not only good for the students receiving funding, an important and often missed beneficiary is the community offering the program.

For example, the Kalamazoo Promise has produced tremendous benefits for the city of Kalamazoo. In the 20 years before the Promise Program was implemented, Kalamazoo was experiencing steady population decline that totaled 20% in 20 years, stagnating wages, and high employment. The Kalamazoo Promise is helping steer the city in a new direction. In the years immediately following the implementation of the program, enrollment of local students in Kalamazoo Public Schools increased, housing values fared better than almost anywhere else in the state, wages and salary employment were the best of the 14 Metropolitan Statistical Areas in Michigan, and the population even began to increase.

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