Newaygo County Named Michigan Promise Zone

High school students in Newaygo County are on their way to a brighter future tonight.

The county was named a Michigan Promise Zone today.

The program gives students the opportunity to earn at least an Associate’s Degree with no tuition.

Newaygo County is now one of 10 promise zones throughout Michigan giving students a free path to higher education.

"This promise zone that they implemented and approved is perfect for students who want to go to college because this gives them the opportunity to give them an education that will be really great," said Marissa Becker.

Students who graduate from Newaygo County High Schools will soon have a new opportunity after being named Michigan’s newest Promise Zone.

"The premise to the legislation that the vision is minimally we provide a tuition free path to at least an Associate’s Degree at a community college for any student that graduates from Newaygo County High Schools," said Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, Superintendent, NC RESA.

In the works since 2009, the Promise Zone opens a new window for students who wouldn’t be able to afford a college education.

In order for it to work, the county has to fully fund the program for two years.

State education dollars would kick in after that.

"It’s such a wonderful opportunity to be able to say to any student doesn’t matter where you come from doesn’t matter if you have tuition money in the bank or not we are going to provide a tuition free path to get you an education beyond high school," said Dr. Lori Tubbergen Clark, Superintendent, NC RESA.

All to help students worry a little less about what their futures will hold.

"I’m really really happy for all the students because they will have a better life it will impact their life greatly. They will get a better education they will get better job opportunities and that’s what I want to see with these kids to have a better life someday," said Marissa Becker.

The Newaygo County Regional Educational Service Agency is trying to raise half a million dollars in the next 18 months and put the program into action at that point.

they will also appoint a new board to oversee the details–like who would be able to take advantage of the promise.