Wayne State University announced this week that it will begin awarding free tuition to all Detroit students who graduate from high school.
The scholarship program is called the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge and was announced Wednesday by Wayne State President Roy Wilson.
“This initiative aligns perfectly with many of our institutional values,” said Wilson at a Wednesday event attend by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Opportunity, accessibility, and affordability are all pillars of the high quality education we provide, and the Heart of Detroit scholarship delivers on all those values.”
In order to quality for the scholarship program, students must live in the city of Detroit, be accepted to the university, and complete the FAFSA.
“Every Michigander deserves an affordable post-secondary education, and Wayne State has been a tremendous leader on this issue,” Gov. Whitmer said in a statement, according to the Detroit Free Press. “Earlier this year, I announced a statewide goal of reaching 60 percent of Michiganders with a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2030, and the Heart of Detroit Scholarship will bring us one step closer to meeting that goal. I’m eager to work with leaders like Mayor Duggan, President Wilson, and anyone else who wants to bring down the cost of a college education for everyone in Michigan.”
The scholarship doesn’t cover the costs of books, housing, or other living expenses. Tuition and fees costs roughly $11,700 per year to attend Wayne State.
“We didn’t want to have a lot of reasons why people wouldn’t qualify,” said Wayne State Associate Vice President Dawn Medley. “We thought we could go bold. It’s really as close to free college as we can get in terms of tuition.”
A number of progressive lawmakers praised the new scholarship program on Twitter Wednesday.
“More of this, please. Thank you Wayne State for taking the lead in helping make higher education a reality for so many who didn’t have access until now,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13).
— Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (@RepRashida) October 23, 2019
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison attended Wayne State University for his undergraduate degree and praised his alma mater on Twitter.
“Giving free tuition to Detroit high school graduates. Excellent,” he said. “University of Minnesota, what about you?”
— Keith Ellison (@keithellison) October 23, 2019
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Wayne State University” by Del arte. CC BY-SA 3.0.