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Detroit Promise Path Falls Short, But Hopes Remain

The Detroit Promise Path program would pay students  a $50 monthly stipend and provide a coach to guide them toward graduation as part of a new plan available to the city’s students. But the first detailed report on the program shows mixed results. Only 7.2% of the students in the Promise Path earned certificates or a degree within three years, compared to 6.8% of those who received tuition alone. Fewer than 100 of the more than 1,000 students in the report’s study earned a degree or certificate within three years. 

For educators, it’s the latest indication that the barriers to finishing a higher education for historically disadvantaged populations will be more difficult to overcome than by providing free tuition coupled with a meager stipend and counseling assistance.

For most recipients, the biggest impediment continues to be economic, said a researcher who worked on the study. That often reduces a student’s opportunity to take classes full-time.

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