Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge

Heart of Detroit logoFor more than 150 years, Wayne State University has pledged to provide access to higher education in our community. We're proud of our connection and commitment to the city of Detroit — the place we call home — and we're honoring that relationship with an opportunity that puts a Wayne State education within reach for all Detroit students.

Introducing the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, which offers free tuition for 2020 graduates of Detroit high schools or Detroit residents earning a high school diploma in 2020.

Heart of Detroit builds on programs such as Detroit Promise, Wayne Access and Warrior Way Back to expand opportunities to Detroit youth. That's Warrior Strong.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, students must:

  • Live in the city of Detroit (verified by mailing address) and graduate from high school in 2020 or after
    OR 
    graduate from any Detroit high school (public, private, charter, parochial, home school or GED program) in 2020 or after.
  • Join RaiseMe to earn micro-scholarships by completing student success activities.
  • Be admitted to Wayne State University as a first-time, full-time freshman in fall 2020 or after.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for the following fall.

Continued eligibility

To remain eligible, students must:

  • Meet all satisfactory academic progress requirements.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment (12 or more credit hours per semester) during the fall and winter semesters.
  • Pass at least 30 credits per academic year.
  • Submit an updated FAFSA by March 1 of each enrollment year.

 

Related links

Read the press release.

Questions?

Please email studentservice@wayne.edu.

This program fills the gap to cover tuition and mandatory fees. Additional expenses are not covered, including, but not limited to, housing, books, transportation and meals.

Frequently asked questions

  • Describe the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge.

    The Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge will provide free tuition for eligible students who either live in Detroit or graduate from a high school within the city. The initiative will potentially benefit the more than 49,000 students currently enrolled in Detroit high schools, plus thousands of city residents who are currently attending high school outside of Detroit.

  • When will the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge launch?

    It will be available for students enrolling at WSU beginning in fall 2020.

  • Who is eligible?

    To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

    • Live in the city of Detroit (verified by mailing address) and graduate from any high school in 2020 or after
      OR 
      graduate from any Detroit high school (public, private, charter, parochial, home school or GED program) in 2020 or after.
    • Join RaiseMe to complete activities associated with student success while earning micro-scholarships.
    • Be admitted to Wayne State University as a first-time, full-time freshman in fall 2020 or after.
    • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 for the following fall.
  • How will the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge be funded?

    This is a last dollar in scholarship, meaning that after students fill out a FAFSA and receive available state and federal dollars, as well as any other available scholarship dollars, Wayne State will fill any financial gap through institutional scholarships and grants. This program fills the gap to cover tuition and mandatory fees.

    Although FAFSA completion is required, financial need is not required to receive the award. If any student struggles with completion of the FAFSA, they should reach out to the Office of Student Financial Aid or speak with a financial aid officer at Wayne State.

  • How will Wayne State pay for the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge? Are there new funds being allocated for it?

    Wayne State dedicates significant dollars for scholarships. This year, our institutionally funded financial aid was $81.7 million. Additionally, our recently completed Pivotal Moments capital campaign raised $92.6 million to support endowed scholarships, a portion of which could be used to support the Heart of Detroit program. And since our announcement, we have been approached by several people interested in making financial contributions to support Detroit students through this program. 

  • How will this affect funding for other scholarships the university offers? Will need-based awards be reduced to help pay for the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge?

    No, needs-based awards will not be reduced to fund this program. The Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge is just the latest evolution of Wayne State’s drive to make college more affordable and to help students pay for tuition. It was not created at the expense of existing scholarships.

  • Will I need to take out a loan to cover any gaps in the award?

    No. Tuition and fees will be completely covered by the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge. 

    Additional expenses such as housing, books, transportation and meals are not covered. However, we also offer housing scholarships, emergency grants, a food pantry and completion scholarships as part of a comprehensive financial support system for students.

  • What are the baseline academic requirements for admission to Wayne State University?

    The baseline grade point average required for admission to Wayne State is 2.75, with an ACT score of 17 or higher, and an SAT score of 930 or higher.  However, we take a holistic approach to admissions so other factors may be considered.
     

  • What is RaiseMe and why do I have to use it?

    RaiseMe is a micro-scholarship program that incentivizes college going behaviors and helps expose students to a wide variety of colleges and universities.  RaiseMe is easy to sign up for and completely free to use. 

  • Will tuition need to be raised to cover the cost of the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge?

    No. We don’t raise tuition to pay for scholarship and awards. Over the past few years we’ve been able to hold tuition increases to low levels, while at the same time continuing to grow our institutional financial aid. 

  • What doesn't the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge cover?

    Additional expenses are not covered, including, but not limited to, housing, books, transportation and meals. We also offer emergency grants, housing scholarships, a food pantry and completion scholarships as part of a comprehensive financial support system for students.

  • How much funding will be needed for each recipient?

    The amount of funding needed for each student will be determined based on their FAFSA information, tuition and fee costs, and any outside scholarship amounts the student may bring with them.

  • How did the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge come about? What was the genesis of the idea?

    It is no secret that the cost of a college degree has grown significantly over the last couple of decades. Wayne State is committed to opportunity and access and does not want cost to be a barrier to higher education. We’ve always been committed to supporting local Detroit students, and we are continually looking for ways to supplement the programs we already have in place to do this.

    Our partnership with the Detroit Regional Chamber in support of the Detroit Promise program has provided numerous scholarships to Detroit students since 2011. Additionally, Detroit was designated a Talent Hub by the Lumina Foundation, with support from The Kresge Foundation, in 2017. As a Talent Hub, the city and its stakeholders — including Wayne State University — have committed to work together to help address the growing demand for workers with an education beyond high school. The following year, WSU launched the Warrior Way Back program — a program that seeks to specifically provide aid to all students. Through initiatives like these, we aim to help the Detroit Regional Chamber fulfill the goal of its Detroit Drives Degrees program: To increase the number of individuals with postsecondary accreditation to 60 percent by 2025.

  • Eligibility is limited to those students who are current residents of Detroit or who go to high school in Detroit. Is Wayne State doing anything to help make education more affordable for students from other parts of Michigan?

    Wayne State is committed to access and affordability for all students. In addition to the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, WSU is proud to offer a robust suite of scholarships for incoming students from across the state, including:

    • The Warrior Award, which offers up to $6,000 per year for four consecutive years and is given to the strongest admissions applicants based on GPA and ACT/SAT scores.
    • The Detroit Leadership Award, which is offered to incoming freshmen from Macomb, Oakland or Wayne County or the cities of Flint, Saginaw or Ypsilanti who have demonstrated academic excellence and community leadership. This award provides up to $5,000 per year for up to four consecutive years to eligible students.
    • The Gold Award and the Green Award, which are available to all eligible full-time students, offering $4,000 and $2,000, respectively, per year for four consecutive years.
    • The Wayne Access award, which covers up to the full cost of tuition and standard fees for eligible students, and is renewable for up to four years.
    • The Scholar Award, which offers up to $500 per year for four consecutive years for eligible full-time students.

    Students are also encouraged to apply for the hundreds of departmental scholarships through our shared-application portal.

  • Will the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge be available for spring and summer semesters?

    Because we offer a 30% tuition discount to students enrolled during spring and summer, it will only be available for the fall and winter semesters.

  • How will the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge affect students in terms of affordability and accessibility?

    It will have a tremendous impact. Recipients will get free tuition and fees, making their four-year journey toward a degree completely tuition free. A university-sponsored scholarship will fill the gap between these costs and other applicable aid. We also offer emergency grants, housing scholarships, a food pantry and completion scholarships as part of a comprehensive financial support system for students.

  • Is Wayne State working with Detroit Public Schools and city leadership on this initiative?

    The Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge continues the longstanding partnership between the people of Detroit, Wayne State and the educational landscape of Detroit. We have an excellent relationship with the city and consider its residents honorary members of the Wayne State community. We have a moral and economic duty to partner with the city to provide opportunities for all of its citizens to achieve their full potential through earning a Wayne State degree.

  • Will this be an ongoing scholarship award, or is this a pilot program that will be evaluated after a certain amount of time?

    The plan is for the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge to be available on an ongoing basis.