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.
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:
- 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.
- You must complete and submit your FAFSA by June 30.
- You must register for the Detroit Promise by June 30.
- 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
Mark D. Yancy Jr.
My name is Mark Yancy Jr., and I am proud to be your Campus Success Coach! I have worked in this role since the beginning of the program at HFC. It has been an absolute privilege to serve the students here at Henry Ford College. I was born and raised in the Detroit, graduating from Redford High School, and later Marygrove College. My passion has always been helping young people realize their dreams. In my down time, I love music… all types! I love reading, and spending time with my wife and my two dynamic boys!
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 an academic advisor with the TRIO program and am excited to be a Campus Success Coach at Henry Ford College.
I have an associate degree in Criminal Justice, a bachelor's degree in Business Management, and a master's degree in Sports Leadership. My wife and I live in Plymouth with our 4 children.
Hi! I'm Elyse Hogan, and I'm happy to serve as your Success Coach. I am from Bay City, Michigan. I have two degrees from Western Michigan University (Go, Broncos!): a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish and master’s degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs. I was a first-generation college student, and this inspired me to work in higher education where I can help other students succeed in college.
My hobbies are spending time with friends and family, traveling, trying new foods, and playing 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.
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."