The plan to offer two-year college scholarships to high school graduates through Muskegon Area Promise got the nod from state officials.
The school district was looking to raise $500,000 to provide a last-dollar scholarship for students with a 3.5 or higher grade point average who would like to pursue two-year degrees or certificates from Muskegon Community College or Baker College. While officials had even started a GoFundMe account to help meet the measure, a big announcement came in late October 2015 as more than 80 percent of the goal had been raised thanks to four gold level funders. Muskegon County’s largest employers — ADAC, Hines, Alcoa, and Nichols — each invested $100,000 adding to the $23,000 from small donations.
But in early October 2015, the Michigan Department of Treasury approved the request to begin with three school districts for the first two years before expanding county-wide after that.
“This is a game-changer for our entire area,” said Muskegon Area Intermediate School District Superintendent John Severson. “I have personally seen three things happen in communities with a Promise: the population and economic activity grows, students become more serious about high school and their grades improve, and students are more likely to enroll and persist in college.”