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A group of six Kalamazoo Promise studentsOlivet College is a proud partner of the Kalamazoo Promise, a scholarship program offering eligible graduates of Loy Norrix High School and Kalamazoo Central High School financial assistance to attend college with a scholarship of up to 100% of tuition. The scholarship amount is determined by students’ residency and attendance in the Kalamazoo Public School System. Taking the promise a step farther, Olivet College has pledged to match the difference between the amount students receive from the Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship to equal the full cost of tuition and fees at OC.

Currently, Olivet College is serving 18 Kalamazoo Promise scholars who enrich the College with their talent, leadership and dedication to being more and doing good.

First-year student Zachary Liddle is a Kalamazoo Promise scholar from Loy Norrix High School. He is a computer science major and a member of the track and field team. Olivet’s close-knit community played a large role in Zachary’s decision to become a Comet.

“Kalamazoo is an urban area with a lot of people,” he said. “I realized that I appreciated smaller schools. I picked Olivet because I wanted a school where the professors knew who I was instead of just falling into the wave of students. I could use my scholarship at a number of schools in Michigan, but Olivet stood out because of how hands-on the recruiters and professors were when I came for my campus visits.”

First-year student Karley Wheeler, who is pursuing a double major in psychology and biology with a premedical focus, echoes Zachary’s appreciation for strong community support. “I chose Olivet College because it’s a smaller college. I enjoy the small aspect of the classes and even the one-on-one attention from the professors, as well as the extra help from them.”

Junior La’Taya Berry, a biology major with a pre-veterinarian focus, added, “I chose Olivet because I wanted to go somewhere not too far from home, but a place that could remind me of home. A college where professors show that they care about their students was also important to me. Having the Kalamazoo Promise made me want to take advantage of it and stay in Michigan to use it.”

Reinvesting in the Community

While Zachary has only just begun his second semester at Olivet College, he already has plans to return to Kalamazoo post-graduation. His ultimate goal: “I hope to go back to Kalamazoo and open an electronics repair business,” he said.

La’Taya is also interested in giving back, both as a student and in her profession. “Becoming a Comet has made me want to give back to my community and others. During my sophomore year, I went on a service trip to North Carolina where we helped rebuild a church’s fellowship hall. Being able to help the church made me feel good because I didn’t just help one person, but I helped bring a whole community back together,” she said. “I’m a biology pre-vet major because I care about animals and animal rights laws. I plan on opening my own animal sanctuary in South Korea after I graduate.”

A group of six Kalamazoo Promise students having fun in Burrage Library.Karley mirrors La’Taya’s passion for giving back. She plans to become a pediatrician and is already preparing for graduate school while taking advantage of service opportunities on campus.

“One experience that I have had at Olivet is participating in a Service Day project. This happens once a semester and has helped me understand the work it takes to keep Olivet looking great throughout the year. We, as students, have to help keep the campus clean because this campus is our home for the time we are here,” she said.

Paving the Way for Other Kalamazoo Promise Scholars

“I would encourage a student to attend Olivet College because it is a really great school,” Karley said. “It has a small campus and you get one-on-one time with your professors which is really nice. The professors are here to help you and they will do everything they can to do that, such as open their offices to you anytime to come in and ask questions.”

“If you’re looking for a small campus with awesome faculty and staff, this is the college for you,” La’Taya said. “Everyone here wants to help you in any sort of way. You will also be supported to take advantage of your Kalamazoo Promise Scholarship.”

Learn more about Olivet College and the Kalamazoo Promise by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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