A new scholarship will enable Grand Rapids high school students to get two years free at Grand Rapids Community College.

On Monday January 13th, leadership approved a plan for the Grand Rapids Promise Scholarship, which includes two years of tuition, fees, and books at GRCC, Wood TV 8 reports.

According to a release, the Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority is working with all 22 high schools in the city (including public, public-charter and private schools) to make it possible for every student who lives in the City of Grand Rapids and graduates from any of the 22 high schools to have free access to GRCC’s Associate Degree, job training, and certification programs starting in 2020.

What are the requirements? A student must attend one of the 22 high schools starting in 10th grade or before, live in Grand Rapids starting in 10th grade or before, and graduate.

Students who start attending a GR high school in 11th grade or move into Grand Rapids in 11th grade can still receive 50% of the scholarship. Those who start in their senior year are not eligible. Students will also be required to apply for federal financial aid (FAFSA) each year.

According to MLive,

The authority estimates that it will need $2.9 million for the first five years to meet its financial obligations. In order to do that, the scholarship will be funded using a combination of private and corporate donations and investments.

After two years, the scholarship will also be funded in part by capturing 'tax increment financing funds.'

That means that a portion of the City of Grand Rapids State Education Tax will be set aside for the promise.

GRCC has pledged $500,000 in scholarships as part of the program

The plan has now been sent to the Michigan Treasurer for approval.

The Grand Rapids Promise Zone Authority Board says they'd eventually like to extend the project to include four-year institutions.

For more information you can visit the Grand Rapids Promise Zone’s website, email promisezone@grcc.edu or call 616-234-4321.

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