What Makes the Holland/Zeeland Promise Unique?

The Holland/Zeeland Promise began as a dream to allow our area’s youth to graduate college or technical school without crushing student debt. Promise candidates are nominated by their high school or Careerline Tech Center guidance counselors or staff at Hope College’s Upward Bound, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress. Selection is based on a range of factors including high financial need, the motivation to achieve a college or technical degree and proven academic success. Most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.

Support Promise Scholars

We hope you will join other local families and businesses in sending local scholars to college or technical school by becoming a donor. Many donors make a four-year pledge, their “promise” to see scholars all the way through to graduation.

How Does the Promise Work?

It’s a last-dollar scholarship which means that after other grants and scholarships have been applied, we cover the remaining cost of tuition, books, room, and board. Our goal is for students to graduate debt free or as debt free as possible.

The Promise offers a side-by-side approach, addressing not only financial needs, but also academic and socio-emotional needs. We check in with students monthly to see how they are handling classes and life at school and connect them with campus resources. Extra support is provided through local partnerships: mental health counseling is available through Mosaic Counseling (formerly TCM Counseling) and career coaching is provided through Thompson MTEC.

Many donors make a four-year pledge, their “promise” to see scholars all the way through to graduation.

Unlike many other scholarships, the Promise is renewable for additional undergraduate years, dependent on students remaining in good academic standing and making progress toward their degrees.

The program encourages peer mentoring by bringing students together at an annual summer gathering.

To date the Promise boasts a 94 percent graduation rate in comparison to a national average graduation rate of 63 percent (National Student Clearinghouse).

Many Promise graduates return to our community to live, work, and give back.

Promise Scholarship Process

Promise candidates are nominated by their high school or Careerline Tech Center counselors or staff at Hope College Trio’s Upward Bound Program, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland or Latin Americans United for Progress.

Nominated candidates are contacted by the Foundation’s Director of Scholarships and given instructions regarding the application and selection process.

Selection is rigorous and based on a range of factors. High financial need, the motivation to achieve the goal of a college or technical degree and strong recommendations are priorities. In addition, most Promise recipients are the first in their families to go to college.

Have Questions About the Promise?

For more information or  questions about scholarships, contact Stacy Timmerman, Director of Scholarships via email.