The Detroit Promise and Henry Ford College

A tuition-free college degree for students who graduate from Detroit high schools.

HFC will provide support and coaching to make sure you are set up for success.

What is the Detroit Promise?

The Detroit Promise is a tuition-free college degree. The City of Detroit pays for your associate degree or technical certificate tuition and fees, as long as you meet the requirements. (The program does not cover living expenses or incidental expenses.)

Founded in 2016, the Detroit Promise ensures that any student graduating from any high school in the city of Detroit will have a tuition-free path to an associate degree or technical certificate. The program is administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with colleges like HFC.

Hours during Summer Semester:
Located in the Student Center (M)

Henry Ford College has been a proud participant in the Detroit Promise since the beginning. Currently, more than 600 Detroit Promise students attend HFC. In fact, 66% of all Detroit Promise students attend HFC, making it the largest Detroit Promise enrollment of any college.

HFC is following the Applebaum Family Campus Coach model, which ensures that as a student, you will have an individual Campus Success Coach to make sure you are set up to succeed. HFC’s current campus coaches are Mark Yancy Jr., Reco Spencer, and Elyse Hogan.

The Detroit Promise is sponsored by the the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce. You can visit their website for even more details about how the program works. To become a Detroit Promise student at HFC, follow the link in the "How do I sign up?" section below.

You may also download the program brochure (PDF).

How do I sign up?

Start by making sure you qualify. There are four required steps:

  1. You must have attended any high school in the city of Detroit for at least two years, and graduated from a Detroit high school (you must be a Detroit resident). This includes schools operated by Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) as well as self-governing, charter, private, alternative, home, and parochial schools in Detroit.
  2. You must complete and submit your FAFSA by June 30.
  3. You must register for the Detroit Promise by June 30.
  4. You must participate in the mandatory student academic success activities described on this website and in your HFC Detroit Promise coaching sessions.

Ready to get started?

Fill out the Detroit Promise registration form, and select Henry Ford College as your College choice.

Meet the campus success coaches for Detroit Promise students

headshot of Mark Yancy Jr.

Mark Yancy Jr. - Program Coordinator

My name is Mark Yancy Jr., and I am the Program Coordinator for the Detroit Promise Team here at HFC! It has been my absolute pleasure to serve the Detroit Promise Scholars since the beginning of the program in 2016. I was born and raised in Detroit, MI. For over 25 years my passion has been serving and empowering young people to actualize their dreams.

I enjoy spending time with my wife our two dynamic boys. I enjoy watching movies and I love all types of music!

Welcome to Henry Ford College where the Detroit Promise is more than scholarship, it’s a community!


headshot of Reco Spencer

Reco Spencer

Hi, I'm Reco Spencer. I have worked in the human services and education for more than 20 years, ranging from case management with Michigan Works, to instructor counseling with Goodwill Industries, to youth aging out of foster care with Samaritas Education. I have been a Student Success Coach here at Henry Ford College for 5 years. I am excited to now be moving into my new position as I support our Detroit Promise scholars after they graduate from HFC.

My wife and I live in Plymouth/Canton, MI with our 4 children. I love everything about the University of Michigan Sports/School, and I am a diehard Raiders fan. I love music (hip-hop, jazz, r&b), reading (black historical, spiritual), movies (I am a Spike Lee fan).


Charisma Flowers Portrait

Charisma Flowers

My name is Charisma Flowers, and I am honored to serve as your Campus Success Coach. I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but spent most of my childhood between Las Vegas, Nevada, and Lansing, Michigan. I am a proud graduate of Lansing Community College, Wayne State University, University of Michigan, where I received my Master's in Social Work, and IGC Coaching School, where I received my Certificate in Professional Coaching. My passion for serving youth and young adults stems from my experience as a student trainer with MI Gear Up, community director with Wayne State University, and career specialist with Detroit Employment Solutions, as well as my desire to be the person I needed on my journey. I am beyond grateful to be a part of your support team.

A few things that bring me joy are present moments with my Husband and Son, music, art, sports documentaries, and all things mindset and growth. I am a lover of life and learning and truly believe that life is the best classroom.


Portrait of Delphine Davis

Delphine Davis

Hello, I am Delphine Davis and I have worked with students for over 20 years. I received my undergraduate degree in Public Relations from Wayne State University and a master’s degree from Cornerstone University in Leadership and Management. I recently served as a Recruiter for Henry Ford College and currently an Adjunct Instructor teaching College 101. I enjoy singing and listening to music.

I am excited to be your Detroit Promise Coach!


Portrait of Jeffrey Liggens

Jeffrey Liggens

My name is Jeffrey Liggens, and I’m thrilled to serve as your Success Coach. I am born and raised in Detroit MI, graduating from Murray-Wright H.S. and then Wayne State University with my B.S in Business Administration majoring in Finance. My passion for working with youth and young adults started with my work under the Detroit Summer Youth Employment Contract and then TRIO program at Wayne State University. It’s my pleasure to be able to offer my support to the growth of the student here and watch the amazing things they will do.

In my down time I love to travel, listen to music, podcast, watching movies and sports. I enjoy participating with my Fraternity Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc. and spending time with my wife and newborn son!!!


Elyse Hogan

My name is Elyse Hogan and I am the Program Advisor for the Detroit Promise program at Henry Ford College. Prior to this position, I was a Detroit Promise campus coach. I have also worked for programs like the Michigan College Access Network, Seita Scholars, and Fostering Success. I am a two-time alumna of Western Michigan University. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling, painting, and playing the Sims.


How will the campus success coaches help you as a Detroit Promise student?

Campus success coaches provide personal coaching and guidance to you as a Detroit Promise student. We help you troubleshoot and solve various issues, including:

  • Registering for classes
  • Succeeding in classes
  • Connecting you to all available campus resources
  • Helping you with outside issues, such as transportation
  • Providing a listening ear, useful strategies, and guidance to help you succeed

Campus success coaches help you navigate the transition from high school to college. They help you successfully complete college, whether you graduate with an associate degree, a technical certificate, or transfer to a 4-year university after you graduate.

HFC’s Detroit Promise coaches are dot-connectors. They get you plugged into all available resources you need, and eliminate the obstacles that stand in your way. Having a direct, individual relationship with your coach allows you to become decisive and proactive in your education, leading you toward academic success.

Each of our coaches brings a specific skillset and “gift set” to their role. Our coaches' unique experiences prepare them to build up others. Part of being a great coach is the intangibles, and knowing how and when to intervene to help our students excel.

Incentive program: up to $575 per student

Detroit Promise students who participate in the designated coaching sessions (currently 2 per month) receive a $50 Visa card each month. Students use this money to pay for food, books, and transportation.

Over the course of the school year, students can earn approximately $575 through this incentive.

HFC Student Resources

The following resources are available to all HFC students, and you should take advantage of them. A more complete listing of student service resources is here.

Detroit Promise logo

Learn more about the Detroit Promise and its impact across Southeast Michigan. A segment about the Henry Ford College students and coaches begins at 3:37 of this 12-minute video. "If one person can believe in you, you can go really far," says HFC student Chanale Greer. "If one person's cheering you on, that's enough energy to keep you going through whatever you're going through. Mark (HFC Coach Mark Yancy) was that one person."