6 March 2009

This is our monthly email discussing news relating to The Detroit College Promise.  Our charity provides undergraduate tuition scholarships for high school graduates in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS).  At the high schools where the program is in place, almost all students are eligible for our scholarships.  Based on the similar Kalamazoo Promise, we believe these scholarships will transform Detroit into a center of innovation and brainpower, as the motivation of college scholarships changes the education culture in Detroit, and as young professionals with college aspirations for their children move into Detroit and bring new businesses with them.


Scholarship applications are in:  We now have 130 scholarship applicants from Cody High School in Detroit, our pilot high school, who are eligible for our undergraduate scholarship.  We are paying $250 per semester or $500 per year towards the balance due for tuition and mandatory fees, after application of Federal, State and college grants based on the federal financial aid form (FAFSA).  The award is only for Michigan public colleges or universities.  Some students will not receive an award the first year, because (a) they don't attend college immediately, (b) they attend a non-Michigan or private school, or (c) their FAFSA related grants pay their entire tuition.  However, if their circumstances change within 10 years of graduation, they can still receive money from us.


Future plans:  We plan to expand the program each year until it covers all DPS high schools.  We currently are meeting with interested principals and other support groups for particular high schools. 

We also plan to build our endowment, and to increase the scholarship amount as funds are available.


We've simplified:  Our "two minute" application form is now even easier to complete, as we don't require a social security number or submission of transcripts.  However, since we communicate primarily by email, we do require email addresses for the student and a "concerned adult" who will get copies of the student emails.  We also plan to start online applications in the fall.

Our eligibility criteria are also simple.  For the graduating classes of 2009 to 2012, the criteria are merely that students enroll at Cody High School and reside in Detroit continuously from the target date of December 1, 2008 through graduation.  For graduating classes of 2013 and forward, the target date is the first day of ninth grade.


Donations:  We received a new donation of $5,000 from the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and have received donations from other businesses and individuals, as indicated on our Donors page (click here). 
We have now received our 501(c)(3) tax exempt designation from the Internal Revenue Service (click here for the letter).


Fundraising:  Now that we have our 501(c)(3) status, we are applying for grants from non-profits and businesses.  Although we previously used another non-profit, the Youth Development Commission, to process our donations, many foundations are reluctant to give to an organization without its own tax exempt status. 

We are also participating in parlor meetings, in which our supporters invite friends to an informal meeting to learn about our program.  Contact us if you might be interested in holding a parlor meeting for The Detroit College Promise.


Contribute now!  Every donation tells the world that another Detroiter is committed to the region and believes in the value of education.  We hope that you, your friends and your colleagues will contribute.  Click here to go directly to the Contribute page.  You can pay online by clicking on our new Donate button, or pay by check by printing out our contribution forms.  For businesses that contribute $100 or more, we also post a link to their website.

Don't forget - 100% of all contributions is paid to Michigan public colleges and universities for scholarships, or used to build our endowment for future scholarships.  No money is paid to DPS, students, parents or any other individual or entity.  We pay no administrative costs, because they are entirely paid by our sponsoring business, PathologyOutlines.com.


Cody Presentation PhotoPresentations:  We recently made presentations at the Cody 9th grade award ceremony and to their staff.  We also made presentations to staff at the Cody upper school (10th to 12th grades) and at a Cody financial aid seminar for parents and students.  The attached photo is of Nat Pernick, Executive Director, and Johnathon Matthews, Principal at the Cody upper school.


Contact us:  Please contact us with any
comments or suggestions.

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Executive Director
The Detroit College Promise
Telephone: 248/646-3269
Fax: 248/646-3119