Flint Promise Students Reflect on the Transition to College


This year, more than 140 Flint Promise scholars are attending Kettering University, Mott Community College and the University of Michigan-Flint. And for many students, they’re learning just how different college can be from high school.

“Professors don’t tell you how much time it will take to study or do a project,” said Blase Haynes, a first-year Flint Promise student at Kettering University. “But if you put in the effort and do the extra work, it will pay off.”

Cristian Rodriguez, a second-year student at Mott Community College, agrees.

“The biggest adjustment is time management,” says Rodriguez. “Although, it suits me better because I have the flexibility to build my schedule around my life.”

That flexibility has also been key for Brianna Scott. Although Scott is a first-year Flint Promise student, she has enough credits for senior status because she earned college credits while attending Genesee Early College. That puts her on the fast track to pursue her doctorate in molecular biology.

While many students enjoy the independence college life brings, it can also be a challenging time for some.  In fact,  research shows that college students who struggle with independence and adapting to their new environments are more likely to struggle with grades and the college overall experience.

It’s for that reason that Flint Promise provides success coaches for its scholarship recipients. These coaches offer guidance on a variety of resources, including transportation, employment, child care, tutoring and other community support services. They can also bridge communication gaps between students and college staff and departments.

“We are committed to seeing these students succeed,” says James Avery, director of Education & Training at the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which administers the Flint Promise scholarship. “To do that, we aim to make the journey from high school graduation to college graduation as smooth as possible. Our coaches are there for the students from start to finish.”

Looking forward, Flint Promise is accepting scholarship applications for students who will start college in the winter semester. The deadline to apply is November 15.

Flint Promise is a scholarship program for Flint residents who graduate from high schools in the city of Flint. By covering the cost of tuition after federal grants and other scholarships have been applied, Flint Promise allows eligible students to attend participating colleges and universities for little to no cost.

Flint Promise was established through $2 million in combined gifts from the Consumers Energy Foundation and Tom Gores, founder of FlintNOW.

To learn more about the scholarship, or to apply, visit theflintpromise.org.