The promise of college tuition for local high school graduates has helped Kalmazoo, Michigan attract new homeowners and employers, reports the Wall Street Journal. Philanthropists agreed to fund the Promise in 2005.
It covers 65% of tuition costs at public colleges and universities in Michigan for students who spend at least their high school years in the Kalamazoo Public School district. Students who go all the way from kindergarten through 12th grade get a free ride. Bills are paid by the program directly to the college. Roughly 1,200 students have taken advantage of the program so far.
Other towns with stagnant economies are developing their own versions of the program.