The Detroit Promise

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

We 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, 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.

Due to COVID-19, our hours have changed. We are available online or by phone only.

Located in Room 337

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 every student has an individual Campus Success Coach to make sure the student is set up for success. 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. To learn more about the program's history, visit the Detroit Regional Chamber's website. To sign up for the program at HFC, follow the link directly below.

How do I sign up?

Start by making sure you qualify. The criteria are:

  • Attend any high school in the city of Detroit for at least two years and graduate from a Detroit high school (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.
  • Successfully complete and submit the FAFSA by June 30.
  • Register for the Detroit Promise by June 30.
  • 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 this form, and select Henry Ford College as your College choice.

Meet the campus success coaches for Detroit Promise students

How will the campus success coaches help Detroit Promise students?

Campus success coaches provide personal coaching and guidance to each 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

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.

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."