Promise Zone board establishes development plan.

April 27, 2018

Promise Zone board establishes development plan.

LUDINGTON — The Mason County Promise Zone Authority Board of Directors met earlier this week and approved the Mason County Promise Zone Development Plan. The plan will be submitted to the Michigan Department of Treasury for approval. If approved, the promise authority would provide scholarships to students who meet certain criteria, including:

– Students must graduate with a diploma from and reside within Mason County Central, Mason County Eastern, or Ludington school districts; or graduate with a diploma from Gateway to Success Academy, and meet residency requirements.

– Students must have a cumulative 2.00 grade point average or above.

– Or, students must obtain a GED and reside within the boundaries of Mason County.

– Students must complete a federal student aid application each year he/she intends to use proceeds from the promise scholarship.

– Students must enroll at West Shore Community College.

– Students must complete a Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act form.

The Mason County Promise may be used for any program authorized by West Shore Community College, including, but not limited to: vocational or technical certificates or associate degree programs that are authorized and approved by the college.

Eligible students will receive funding for tuition and mandatory fees up to the cost of obtaining an approved credential at the prevailing West Shore Community College tuition rate. Students will have a maximum of four years from the date of high school graduation, or from the date of issuance of a GED or its equivalent, to use Promise scholarship monies to cover a maximum of 60 attempted credits at West Shore Community College. Students must enroll in a minimum of nine (9) credit hours per fall and winter semester, so long as the credits are attempted subject to the four year time frame requirement. Students must comply with the partnering institution’s Standards of Academic Progress (SAP) to continue to receive the Promise.

The Promise scholarship will be funded through a combination of community support, gifts from private donors, corporate and foundation investments, federal or state financial aid available to Mason County students, and all other eligible sources, including the capture of one-half of the growth of State Education Tax (SET) dollars in Mason County. The first two years of scholarships are required to be funded through private donations.

The minimum projected amount needed for the first two years of operation has been calculated using an actuarial model that provides for all eligible students in Mason County to attend West Shore Community College. The minimum projected funding needed for two (2) years using this actuarial model is $877,265. Donors may contribute to the Mason County Promise Fund through the Community Foundation for Mason County online at www.mason-foundation.org, or by sending a check to the Community Foundation for Mason County with Mason County Promise Fund written on the memo line to P.O. Box 10, Ludington, Michigan 49431.

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