The Upjohn Institute plays a leading role in research, evaluation, and community mobilization activities surrounding the Kalamazoo Promise, an unprecedented experiment in community development that guarantees full college scholarships to potentially every graduate of the Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS). Announced in November 2005 and funded by a group of anonymous donors, the Kalamazoo Promise is the first of a growing number of Promise-type programs nationwide. Read more about the Kalamazoo Promise.
Institute staff members conduct research on the Kalamazoo Promise and related programs, with findings presented in books, papers, and presentations for a variety of audiences.
As the central repository of data covering KPS and comparison districts, the housing market, and the regional economy, the Institute collaborates with other stakeholders to develop and disseminate useful measures of the program’s impact.
The Institute assists other organizations and communities interested in replicating elements of the Kalamazoo Promise, carrying out contracted studies that cover feasibility, impact, and cost.
The Institute plays a key role in convening community stakeholders around the linked issues of education and economic development, and Institute staff members participate in a variety of efforts to align and mobilize the Greater Kalamazoo community around the regional economic goals of the Kalamazoo Promise.
Links to local organizations related to the Kalamazoo Promise
State / National Resources
Links to organizations in Michigan and nationally that support expanded college access
2011 PromiseNet conference
Selected bibliography of publications originating outside the Upjohn Institute that are related to the Kalamazoo Promise
Selected Scholarship Programs
The Kalamazoo Promise was the first program of its kind, but other communities have since developed their own programs modeled on it. Statewide scholarship programs provide an interesting comparison for more locally focused programs.
Promise-Type Scholarship Programs
Provides a list of universal or near-universal, place-based scholarship programs, many of them explicitly modeled on the Kalamazoo Promise
Statewide Scholarship Programs
Includes selected statewide merit and needs-based scholarship programs, as well as one universal program available to high-school graduates in Washington, DC.