Courtesy photo | Kalamazoo College

Imagine you're alone in a new country, don't speak the language, nor understand the customs. For some urban students, they experience "culture shock" at college, says Deborah Bial, founder of The Posse Foundation. Over the last 29 years, her New York City-based program has recruited more than 8,000 promising inner-city students to attend the nation's top colleges in groups, or "posses." A four-year-long support program awaits them once there. Bial speaks Sunday, June 17, at Kalamazoo College's commencement.


The last decade has brought a number of imitators to the Kalamazoo Promise. Michelle Miller-Adams chronicled the spread of those programs in Promise Nation: Transforming Communities Through Place Based Scholarships. 


A new report from the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research finds more students are graduating from college because of the Kalamazoo Promise. Economist Tim Bartik says it increases the chances of a student earning a degree by about one-third. 


High school seniors with good grades may be eligible for two new scholarships at Western Michigan University. University officials say the new Foundation Scholarship program will give $12,000 a year to students who qualify. That's $50,000 over four years.

Officials say there is some "fiscal concern" about Legacy Scholarship