Students at Lansing Eastern High School signed pledges Tuesday co-signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm promising they'll go to college on the state's new Michigan Promise scholarship.
"If you don't go to college or get technical or vocational training, then you're not only hurting yourself, but you're hurting the state, too," Granholm told more than 40 students sitting around tables in the school library.
"As you consider where you're headed, consider that your own education is going to help to transform Michigan," she added. "We want you to accept the $4,000 that we are putting on the table in order for you to be able to go to college."
About 40 seniors signed the cards, along with a few juniors and sophomores.
Under the Michigan Promise, students who do well on statewide standardized tests will get $1,000 at the beginning of their freshman year and another $1,000 at the beginning of their sophomore year. Once they successfully complete two years of college or training, they will get $2,000 more.
Students who didn't get the money up front will be able to tap the entire $4,000 after two years. Students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average to earn the money.
The Michigan Promise replaces the former Michigan Merit scholarship, which gave students who did well on standardized tests $2,500 to $3,000 to use their freshman and sophomore years of college.