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.
Our goal is to make higher education a possibility for every American, without regard to their financial circumstances.
We have a lot to do and not much time to do it, so your support is critical for our campaign to succeed. It’s with your investment that we can fundamentally reform how higher education is financed in this country, opening the doors to a more equitable society.
If you agree with our goal, our plan, and the urgency of the problem, we ask that you give what you can to help us write the next chapter in our nation’s history of continuously expanding access to universal, free education.