Why fewer students are applying for the Lansing Promise college scholarship

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 8:04 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - With the cost of college rising every year, you would think students would be going after every possible scholarship opportunity, but applications for the Lansing Promise scholarship are down.

“The best thing about the scholarship is really the people and the support network that they give you,” Undra Brown said. “It’s constantly making sure that you’re working with your success coach and that you’re staying on stop of your classes and planning.”

Undra Brown received the Lansing Promise scholarship a few years ago and used it to attend Lansing Community College. Brown said it was the best thing for him.

“It was extremely helpful in terms of a support network when I was in college and it helped me explore and take different classes and help figure out what my interests were,” Brown said.

The Lansing Promise paid for his classes up to 65 credits which allowed Brown to explore his different interests.

“The scholarship just shows that people from Lansing do succeed, and they do give back to the community, people do care about the youth,” Brown said.

But this year the Lansing Promise saw a major decline in applicants for the scholarship. Executive Director Justin Sheehan said there were 110 less applicants compared to 2020 and he thinks the main reason is the pandemic.

“It really was the lack of face-to-face, Lansing was not face-to-face all of last year (in school),” Sheehan said.

Sheehan said not being able to visit schools to explain the scholarship opportunity really impacted the number of applicants.

“Nationally the numbers were almost a 50% drop. They call it a gap year which is taking a year off figuring out what they want to do and the reality is it’s often, employment, because none of us have the luxury of not working,” Sheehan said.

The Lansing Promise scholarship is only available to Lansing School District students who plan to attend Michigan State University, Lansing Community College or Olivet College.

The Lansing Promise accepts applicants for spring and fall semesters each year. Students should check with their school to find out when they’re due.

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