Any student, at any school, in the Lansing area could receive the opportunity to pursue their dreams. In 2016, Olivet College and the Lansing Promise announced a partnership that provides significant assistance to students. As the only private liberal arts college represented as a Lansing Promise institution, the College awards qualified students a grant of $14,000 each academic year. In addition, students receive $3,216 from the Lansing Promise Foundation each year for the first two years of their education at Olivet.
Olivet College’s unique history and mission has been an unwavering commitment to all students, no matter their background or socioeconomic circumstances, with the opportunity to pursue a higher education.
“As a Lansing Promise institution, we are able to extend that opportunity even further to many deserving students from the Lansing School District,” said Jared Stratz, director of admissions. “Students who seek a relationship-based, inclusive college experience can have that, thanks to the connection between Olivet College and the Lansing Promise.”
Linda Lee Tarver, vice chair of the Lansing Promise, believes that the focus of the program has been, and always will be, the students. Members of the Lansing Promise committee hope students will utilize the scholarship to expand their skill sets and change their life trajectory. “We don’t want a student to not attend college because they can’t afford it,” said Tarver. “We want them to know that we believe in them and we’ve got their back.”
Lansing Public Schools Superintendent Yvonne Camaal Canul ’73 believes that for many Lansing Promise students, Olivet College is the perfect choice.
“Olivet College has a rich history for social justice, which means that a student who is interested in values-driven work has many opportunities to help change the world,” Camaal Canul said. “It’s not too far from Lansing, where internships and mentoring options are available. Additionally, Olivet College is comprehensive enough to provide a student with the full experience of being on a college campus — athletics, music, Greek life and other extracurricular activities.”
As a residential college offering unique experiences, Olivet was the right fit for sophomore Tara Flanagan.
“If not for the Lansing Promise, I would not have been able to have a true college experience,” Flanagan said. “It has enabled me to make friends, become my own person and prepare for my career. This opportunity has allowed me to experience things I otherwise wouldn’t have.” Senior Jillian Johnson shared that the Lansing Promise has made it possible for her to achieve her dreams. “It has especially helped me realize that I have a community that believes in me,” Johnson said.
Presently, 27 Lansing Promise students attend Olivet. In addition, 18 students attend Olivet thanks to the College’s commitment to the Kalamazoo Promise.