Wayne State University in Detroit today announced the establishment of the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, which will provide free tuition for graduates of Detroit high schools or Detroit residents earning high school diplomas who are admitted to WSU as full-time freshmen starting in fall 2020.
“This is a tremendous day for Wayne State and for Detroit students,” says M. Roy Wilson, president of WSU. “This initiative aligns perfectly with many of our institutional values. Opportunity, accessibility, and affordability are all pillars of the high-quality education we provide, and the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge delivers on all those values. With the resources and opportunities on campus and the exciting resurgence in Detroit, it’s never been a better time to be a Warrior.”
The pledge will cover tuition and mandatory fees. Eligible students are those who live in Detroit and are high school graduates or those who have graduated from any Detroit high school in 2020 or after. They also must join RaiseMe, a WSU partner that allows high school students to log their achievements and activities to earn micro-scholarships, receive admission to WSU as a first-time, full-time freshman in fall 2020 or later, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for the following fall.
The pledge is the most recent addition to a suite of WSU programs designed to help students earn college degrees. It will expand on the current WSU ACCESS award, which has enabled more than 2,300 students statewide to enroll with zero out-of-pocket expenses for tuition and fees since its introduction in fall 2017.
Since 2011, WSU has partnered with the Detroit Regional Chamber in support of the Detroit Promise program, which has offered scholarships to Detroit students.
In 2017, Detroit was designated a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation and The Kresge Foundation. The designation recognizes cities that meet standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among students. Detroit is one of 24 Talent Hubs across the country. As a talent hub, the city and its stakeholders, including WSU, have committed to addressing the growing demand for workers with educations beyond high school.
Also in 2017, WSU launched the Warrior Way Back program, which is designed to re-engage students who left the university with debt but no degree. There are nearly 700,000 people in Detroit with some college but no degree. To date, the program has helped more than 100 students re-enroll and work toward degree completion at WSU.
In April 2019, WSU joined the Detroit Regional Chamber to help create a regional debt forgiveness program, which was designed on the Warrior Way Back program.