Way back in 2006, Southwest Michigan was stunned when Kalamazoo dropped the promise on everyone. They were able to find a group of private and anonymous donors who made a pledge to take care of graduates' tuition and mandatory fees for college. The initiative was made to encourage post-secondary education among graduates.

Battle Creek Public Schools(BCPS) is joining in on the fun and starting a promise of its own. They made the announcement for the new Bearcat Advantage Scholarship, which will start with this year's graduates, the class of 2023. The requirements to qualify for Bearcat Advantage are similar to the Kalamazoo Promise but it does differ in some ways.

The minimum requirement for to be eligible for the Bearcat Advantage Scholarship is that you attend all of high school (Freshman-Senior year) in BCPS. Although, the longer you are in BCPS the larger your scholarship fund becomes. So those who spend their entire K-12 will have the largest scholarship funds while others who start later will vary depending on the grade they enter BCPS.

The scholarship will be payable for only tuition and mandatory fees at a 4-year college or university. Now, like the Kalamazoo promise this is open to every 4-year college or university in Michigan but the Bearcat Advantage Scholarship is open to over 100 HBCUs across the country as well.

Graduating seniors will receive an email to log into the Bearcat Advantage student portal to check their personalized eligibility for the scholarship and what the status is. For more information about BA, eligibility requirements, and info sessions for the class of 2023, visit battlecreekpublicschools.org/bearcatadvantage.

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