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Tuition-Free College with the Detroit Promise

Last updated May 7, 2024

As the cost of college keeps rising, it's normal to wonder how you'll pay for it. For Detroit students, the Detroit Promise is a great, tuition-free way to earn an associate degree, bachelor’s degree, or technical certification. Read more to learn about the Detroit Promise: how it works, who's eligible, and how to apply! 

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What is the Detroit Promise?

The Detroit Promise is a scholarship program that offers tuition-free college and trade/vocational opportunities to eligible Detroit students. It is a “last-dollar scholarship,” meaning other forms of financial aid are applied to your tuition balance before the Detroit Promise covers any eligible funding gaps. The Detroit Promise does not cover non-mandatory fees, books, housing, supplies, meals, or other expenses. However, scholarships are a great way to help cover these costs. Check out our brand new Scholarship Finder for over 16,000 scholarships you can apply for right now!

Am I eligible for the Detroit Promise?

Detroit Promise funding is considered non-competitive! This means if you meet the eligibility requirements, complete the program registration, and your participating college identifies an eligible funding gap, you will receive Detroit Promise aid!

  • General eligibility
    • All high schools with a Detroit address are eligible (public, private, charter, etc.).
    • Students who attended multiple high schools are eligible if all the schools were located in Detroit.
    • All applicants must complete the FAFSA and any school-specific financial aid forms or requirements.

Based on your path after high school, eligibility requirements are slightly different. Read below to make sure you check off all the boxes before applying:

  • Two-year (community) college funding
    • Live in Detroit during your junior and senior years of high school.
    • Attend junior and senior years at and graduate from a Detroit high school.
    • There is no GPA or exam score required for community college funding!
  • Four-year college/university funding
    • Live in Detroit all four years of high school.
    • Attend all four years at and graduate from a Detroit high school.
    • All partnering universities are test-optional!
    • In addition, students must meet the GPA requirement of the college they are applying to (found here).

Where can I find a list of partnering colleges and universities?

As of 2024, there are 32 schools that partner with Detroit Promise. You can find the complete list of community colleges and universities at the Detroit Promise website. When building your college list, make sure you check to see if any of your potential schools accept the Detroit Promise Scholarship so you can apply for the opportunity to attend school tuition-free. Need help building your college list? Download our free College List Builder to stay organized!

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How do I apply?

  • Step 1: Complete the Detroit Promise registration form (make sure to visit the verification link sent via email with next steps– students cannot receive Detroit Promise funding until this is completed).
  • Step 2: Submit your college applications.
  • Step 3: Submit the FAFSA and make sure to list the partnering colleges/universities you are applying to.
  • Step 4: Review your financial aid award letters to identify any gaps in funding that can be covered by the Detroit Promise.
  • Step 5: Choose your school (they must be a partnering institution to receive Detroit Promise funds).
  • Step 6: Register for classes at your school and you’re ready to go!

Have any questions about the Detroit Promise? Text #Detroit at 33-55-77 to speak with one of our college and career advisors! 

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