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Kellogg to pay up to 100% college for Battle Creek district students

Battle Creek. Michigan. USA on a map
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced a scholarship program on Wednesday for graduates of Battle Creek Public Schools. (Shutterstock)
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation announced it would cover up to full tuition and costs for Battle Creek district students for college  
  • Graduating seniors can apply the scholarship to any four-year college or university in Michigan and at nearly 100 HBCUs
  • Scholarships will be awarded on a sliding scale based on how long students have attended Battle Creek public schools

Students at Battle Creek Public Schools will receive a scholarship that covers up to 100 percent of their college tuition from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, starting with the graduating class of 2023. 

The scholarship, called the “Bearcat advantage,” will cover tuition and mandatory fees for eligible graduates who attend a four-year public or private college or university in Michigan or at nearly 100 historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs), the school district announced. 

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is the philanthropic branch of the Kellogg Company, the iconic cereal and snack food company that was founded in Battle Creek.  


It marks the foundation’s latest financial contribution to the diverse, struggling school district, where roughly 4-in-5 students come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and more than 3,700 school-age children who live within the district do not attend district schools.    

“We believe that equity is about opportunity, and this scholarship brings the possibility of higher education to students who otherwise may not have the resources to pursue it, ” said Kimberly Carter, superintendent of BCPS in a press release. 

The scholarship is awarded on a sliding scale based on how long a student has attended the school. Students that attended BCPS since kindergarten will be eligible for a 100 percent scholarship. While students who have attended BCPS for all four years of high school will be eligible for a 65 percent scholarship. Students who attend BCPS for less than four years are ineligible for the scholarship. 

The district has a 58 percent high school graduation rate. Fewer than 40 percent of graduates attend college within six months of leaving high school.  

The scholarship can be applied to any four-year degree for up to six years following the student’s high school graduation. Graduating seniors must submit an application by June 2, for it to be applied to their college tuition. 

“Our vision for success focuses on eliminating opportunity gaps that have existed for many years as a result of systemic inequities, and developing world-class educational experiences for the students we serve,” Carter said. 

[Disclosure: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is a funder of The Center for Michigan, the nonprofit parent company of Bridge Michigan. Kellogg had no role in the selection, writing or editing of this report.]

This isn’t the first time the foundation has invested in Battle Creek Public Schools.  In 2017, the Kellogg Foundation invested $51 million to increase racial equity and reduce barriers to success for children in the district. 

The student population in the school district is 40 percent Black, 29 percent white and 13 percent Hispanic. 

That five-year investment helped create new academic and extracurricular  programs like the career academies model at Battle Creek Central High School. The donation helped revamp the program, which gives students the opportunity to explore different career paths through hands-on learning. 

In 2005, the Kellogg Foundation celebrated its 75th anniversary by creating The Legacy Scholars program, an award covering up to 62 credit hours of tuition, fees and books at either Kellogg Community College, an approved trade school or registered apprenticeship program.

“The Bearcat Advantage is not just an investment in our students; it’s an investment in our hometown of Battle Creek,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the foundation.

 “With this opportunity, current and future generations of Bearcats will find their own unique path to success and shape our collective future,” she said. 

The school will host three information sessions for graduating seniors and their families: 

  • Wednesday, May 24th at 1:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. at the Miller Stone Building, 77 Capital Ave NE
  • Tuesday, May 30th at 5:00 p.m. at the Burma Center, 765 Upton Ave
  • Wednesday, May 31st at 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., or 6:00 p.m. at the Miller Stone Building, 77 Capital Ave NE

Bridge Michigan data reporter Mike Wilkinson contributed to this report.

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