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A new Kalamazoo County scholarship program aims to reduce the cost of vital records

Kalamazoo County Administration Building at 201 W. Kalamazoo Ave.  on a cloudy, raining day in August. The Kalamazoo County Board of Canvassers are meeting in room 105 to certify the vote from the August 2, 2022 election.  The meetings are open to the public.
Leona Larson
The scholarship program is modeled after a similar program in Oakland County.

If a lost birth certificate can prevent someone from enrolling a child in school, for some people, the cost to replace it is an added burden.

The Kalamazoo County Clerk's Office announced a new pilot scholarship program today.

The Vital Records Scholarship Program will pay some or all of the costs to replace birth certificates, marriage licenses and death certificates.

To apply, participants must submit a signed letter confirming financial need from a recognized local social service agency. A list of participating agencies is available on the clerk's website.

Kalamazoo County Clerk Meredith Place said the scholarship will help people in a variety of ways including housing and school enrollment.

The project is funded by the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

Michael Symonds reports for WMUK through the Report for America national service program.

Report for America national service program corps member Michael Symonds joined WMUK’s staff in 2023. He covers the “rural meets metro” beat, reporting stories that link seemingly disparate parts of Southwest Michigan.