Investing in Our Students Today • Creates Leaders Tomorrow.


The Michigan City Promise Scholarship is a Mayor Ron Meer initiative.  The program awarded its inaugural scholarships to the Michigan City High School Class of 2017. Michigan City Promise Scholarship offers up to $5,000 per year, renewable for four years, to eligible MCHS seniors who will be attending a regionally accredited college, university, post-secondary educational program or vocational school in the State of Indiana.

The Michigan City Promise Scholarship applies to tuition and fees, including laboratory, student activity, and registration fees at regionally accredited colleges/universities/post secondary undergraduate programs in Indiana. Scholarship cannot be applied to room and board, books, or summer school.

Amount of Scholarship is determined by the number of consecutive years student attends MCAS. The student must also reside in a home owned by the student’s parent/guardian which is within Michigan City corporate city limits.

7th—12th grade                   Up to 100%
8/9th—12th grade          Up to 80%
10th—12th grade           Up to 70%
11th—12th grade           Up to 60%
12th grade                    Up to 25%



  • In order to be eligible for the Michigan City Promise Scholarship, students must complete the following:

    • Complete and submit application which will define educational history, college destination, and provide a release of academic records (high school cumulative GPA). Submit by deadline – June 5, 2020 at 4:30pm CST. 
    • Reside with parent or guardian in an owner occupied home within Michigan City corporate city limits. Provide proof of homeownership with a current homestead exemption.
    • Provide proof of legal guardianship if natural parent is not the guardian.
    • Student must complete 40 hours of community service while in high school
    • Complete a FAFSA by April 15, 2020 and provide proof of completion.
    • Graduate from MCHS with a GPA of 2.5 or greater.
    • An official, final high school transcript will be obtained from MCHS.
    • Students entering the military after high school must apply for the Promise Scholarship in their senior year to be able to defer for their years of their service.
    • Include admission letter from post secondary school
    • Amount of scholarship is determined by number of consecutive years student has attended Michigan City Area Schools


    7th—12th grade         Up to 100%
    8/9th—12th grade      Up to 80%
    10th—12th grade       Up to 70%
    11th—12th grade       Up to 60%
    12th grade                Up to 25%


  • For continuing eligibility, students must complete the following:

    • Student must be enrolled in college credit producing courses in a degree seeking program.
    • Student must maintain a 2.0 GPA, measured on a yearly basis
    • Student must maintain 12 credit hours per semester or a minimum of 24 credits for the academic year.
    • Student must complete 40 hours of community service for every year of award. (Hours used for the Senior year application do not count toward this total.)
    • The student must reapply each year and provide the program with a copy of his/her most recent transcript, proof the student completed the FAFSA for the upcoming year, and proof of home residency through a homestead exemption.
    • Parent/guardian must continue to live and maintain home ownership in Michigan City until the student completes his/her fourth year of college.

  • Click here for the Michigan City Corporate Limits map.

Where to Apply for the Michigan City Promise Scholarship

Action Plans

    • Get involved in extracurricular activities that sound fun and/or challenging. Now is a great time to try new things and meet new friends. Colleges don’t care what activities you are involved in, they just want to see that you are involved.
    • Meet with your guidance counselor to map out a preliminary plan for your high school career.
    • Sign up online for the ACT or SAT Question of the Day…and DO the Question of the Day, every day.
    • Make your studies a priority.
    • Start a savings account for post-secondary schooling. Even a few dollars each week will make a difference. If you save $5 per week every week of high school, you will graduate with $1040 dollars!
    • VOLUNTEER! To qualify for the MC Promise Scholarship, you will need 40 hours of community service by the end of senior year. Look for something YOU find meaningful and get involved. (It also looks great on college applications!)
    • 25% of your volunteering commitment should be completed by end of Freshman year. (10 hours—at a minimum)

    • Continue to explore new extracurricular opportunities. Think about getting a part time job on the weekends. Build that savings account! Saving $10 per week during high school = $2018!
    • Meet with your guidance counselor early in the year to make any adjustments to your high school plan—you should always be tweaking it—and you should always be willing to switch gears to study what truly interests YOU.
    • Pay close attention to your GPA. Classes will begin to get harder this year. So study!  You will need a 2.5 gpa to apply for Promise.
    • Take the PSAT 10 test. Use Khan Academy (free online help) to study for the PSAT you will take junior year.
    • Begin surfing the web to “shop” for colleges and universities. Most schools have video tours of their schools, so you can visit virtually to get a general feeling of a school.
    • You will begin to receive mail from colleges after you have taken the PSAT 10. Don’t just throw it away. Read it first. Your future school may be in that “junk mail”.
    • Continue to VOLUNTEER! 50% (20 hours accumulated during high school) should be finished at the end of the school year.

    • Sign up for and take SAT and ACT tests. You may want/need to take them more than once, so look at the schedule of testing early in the fall so you are prepared to retest, if necessary.
    • Begin a dialogue with your parent/guardian about financial expectations. Who will pay for college? How much can you afford? Be realistic.
    • Start looking at your Naviance account for scholarships. You probably aren’t eligible for many until senior year, but this will give you a good idea of what scholarships you may qualify for senior year. Check in regularly. Guidance is constantly adding new opportunities. Make a list of those you will apply for next year and if they require an essay, start writing rough drafts. 
    • Sign up for an account on—it’s free. This is a great website for “shopping” for colleges. It has a plethora of information about the 3,500+ colleges and universities in the U.S., including your chances of getting admitted to the schools. You may find a school you have never heard of—which becomes your future home.
    • Keep studying, saving money, and volunteering. All of these things will be SO IMPORTANT for your future—whatever you choose to do.
    • Check in with your guidance counselor regularly, even if it is just to say hi. You may not need any changes to your high school plan at this point, but you will need to have a relationship with your counselor. You will be asking him/her to write a letter of reference for your college applications. It is really hard to write a glowing recommendation for someone they only see once a year.
    • Speaking of letters of recommendation. Begin thinking about teachers, administrators, volunteer coordinators, coaches, bosses. Who knows you well enough to write a recommendation? You will need recommendations for college applications and for many scholarship applications. A good recommendation can make the difference between an acceptance and a denial. 
    • Start visiting college campuses. There are many right here in our backyard…visit them on a random weekend day.
    • Late Spring, The Common App will release the prompts for the essays you will be writing in the Fall. Don’t wait until Fall…get writing now, or during the summer when you have plenty of time. Write, revise, rewrite and revise. Make those essays shine.
    • Take as many dual credit/AP classes as you think you can successfully handle and still do well. (Key word: successfully.) Junior year has traditionally been considered one of the hardest years in high school—set your mind to being successful this year and you will be. Study!
    • Get ready for Senior year! You are almost there.
    • 75% (30 hours accumulated during high school) of volunteer hours should be completed by the end of Junior year.
    • If you have been saving $5/week, at the end of this year, you will have $780! 

    • Seniors, it is time to apply for the Michigan City Promise Scholarship. The application will be available November 1.
    • August 1 The Common Application (application accepted by most colleges) becomes available. Tick tock…get busy! It is still summer so you should have plenty of time to work on it. Start filling out the application and finalize that essay you wrote this summer. Senior year is about to start and time will fly by. 
    • November 1 is the priority application deadline at most universities for maximum consideration for financial aid and scholarships. Please do NOT wait until 11p on 10/31 to upload your documents. There are approximately 2.3 million seniors applying to college each year. Computer systems are notorious for crashing at deadline time. (Get those applications finished and turned in early!!!!)
    • Meet with your guidance counselor to verify you are on track to graduate.
    • File the FAFSA no later than April 15. Make a copy of the confirmation email you receive and attach it to your Promise Scholarship application.
    • Finish your 40 high school volunteer hours. Then you can start on the 40 hours you will need for the Promise Scholarship that are due Aug 31.
    • Begin asking those you would like to write recommendation letters if they are willing. Ask early! There are 400 other students in your MCHS senior class that may be requesting letters from the same teachers/counselors/coaches.
    • Remember…a great rec can mean the difference between a YES and a NO…give your recommender plenty of time to write a letter that will help get you the YES.
    • Start a PRO/CON list for schools. Beyond the typical, here are some random, but important, things to consider when thinking about schools: what is the climate like? Can you live in that climate and walk to class in it (extreme heat/cold) for 4 years? Is the school too close/too far from home? When you visit the school, can you picture yourself going there? Food…is it good? Or awful? Most people eat at least 2-3 times a day. Dining hall food is more important than you might think. Would you feel safe living on the campus and walking around the campus at night after a late study session at the library? Is it a commuter campus? If you are not a commuter, will the campus empty out on the weekends? 
    • DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. If you apply to a reach school and you are not admitted, it is ok. Or maybe you got in, but were not awarded enough aid to afford the school. With thousands of US schools to choose from, there are plenty that would love to have you as a student, plenty that will meet your financial need, and plenty where you can be very happy. So cast a wide net and be open to different opportunities. 
    • Keep an open mind!   Jeffrey Brenzel, former Dean of Admissions at Yale University, had this to say:

    “Perhaps you feel absolutely certain of the kind of school you want to attend, and you have a list of such places where you have a reasonable chance of admission. Even so, I urge you to apply to a couple of schools that do not fit the profile, but that you find interesting for one reason or another. Why? I have often seen students respond to a college very differently once they have been admitted in the spring than they did when visiting the prior summer. Students change in some important ways during their senior year in high school as they look outward to the rest of their lives, and they learn a great deal about colleges along the way. Give yourself the option in the spring of heading in a direction you did not anticipate in the fall.

    Finally, once you have finished your applications, relax. You will very probably gain admission to some of your chosen colleges. You will probably have a few campuses to revisit as you make your final selection. You will also be prepared to attend college with the understanding that its rank does not correlate with what you are going to do there and how fulfilling the experience will be. What you accomplish in college – and in the years after – will instead be a function of how well you engage the incredible variety of opportunities and challenges that college presents.”

    • And that savings account? By graduation, you could have at least $1000 if you saved at least $5/week since Freshman year!


    Step 1: Click below to download the form to complete your new or returning application. 

               2020 Applications will be available November 1, 2019.

    Step 2: Click here to complete the FAFSA (Deadline April 15). Print and submit the confirmation page to include with your scholarship application.

    Step 3: Click below to download the form to complete your 40 hours of community service and submit verified hours with application.

    Step 4: Obtain homestead exemption from the LaPorte County Auditor’s office and submit with application:

    LaPorte County Auditor’s Office
    555 Michigan Avenue Suite 205
    LaPorte, IN 46350
    (219) 326-6808 ext. 2252

    Step 5: If parent is not legal guardian, provide proof of legal guardianship.

    Step 6: Once available, provide a letter of acceptance/admission to an accredited Indiana college, university or post secondary education program.

    Step 7: Once available, MC Promise will obtain an official, final transcript from the Michigan City High School registrar office. Cumulative grade point average (GPA) must be 2.5 or higher.

    All above steps must be completed no later than the Michigan City Promise Scholarship deadline of June 5, 2020 at 4:30pm CST.


Click below to download form to complete your 40 hours of community service and submit verified hours with application.

See some of the current opportunities below. Check back periodically, as we are continually updating volunteer opportunities. If you would like to request a specific opportunity, please email (or call at 871.6881) Promise Scholarship Director, Nancy Smith to verify your service will be eligible for the Promise.

Job Description
Salvation Army Christmas Bell RingingSign Up to Ring the BellNov 8-Dec 23
Many shifts and locations available!
Salvation or 219.874.6885December 10 at 10a

Toy Shop set up
Salvation or 219.874.6885Dec 18-20 9a-4p
Distribute Food and Toys

Help families choose toys for their children!
St. Paul Soup KitchenLisa SmiertelnySoup Kitchen Sign Up GeniusHelp needed every Sunday. Shifts 9a-11a and 11a-1p cooking, serving, cleaning up.
Barker MansionAnthony (TJ) Kalin November Sign Up Opportunities change regularly.
Salvation ArmyJessica O'Brien874-6885Mondays and Wednesdays
Help stocking shelves
Salvation ArmyJessica O'Brien874-6885 Tues and Thursdays
9a-11a and 1p-3p
Filling grocery orders for clients.
Krueger Care ClosetDaisy LeeCare Closet SignUp GeniusHelp washing and organizing clothes, shoes, hygiene products for Krueger Care Closet.
Lake Hills Parent GroupErica MillerSignUp Genius Lake HillsHelp monitor kids during Parent meetings
Friendship GardensTriecia878-9885 or info@friendshipgardens.orgMany opportunities in gardens and in office.
Michigan City Public Library Learning CenterJessica Hoffmaster873-3043Volunteers are paired with a student to tutor Math or Reading. Sessions are 1 hour--2x per week for a semester.
MC Park DepartmentJeremy Keinitz873-1506Zoo Assistant: Diet prep help daiy from 8am–12pm
MC Park DepartmentJeremy Keinitz873-1506Grounds: 8–3pm daily. Raking, sweeping, planting and weeding
MCASBetsy Kohn873-2044Filing, archiving photos, general office work
MCASAaron Garrett873-2044Tutoring and other general work
MC PromiseNancy Smithinfo@MichiganCityPromise.comPromise Scholars needed for St. Patrick's Day Parade



Michigan City is investing public dollars to raise the level, importance and performance of its student population and in the process, securing the community’s bright future.

An investment in a student’s education cannot be measured. It is exponential.


  • Corporate and Community assistance in funding the program
  • Provide opportunities for Community Service hours
  • Provide Corporate internships for our student scholars
  • Offer full time employment upon post secondary graduation

Invest in our greatest natural resources, our children, to grow our community.

To make a donation, make a check payable to
Michigan City Promise Program
and deliver to Nancy at
100 East Michigan Blvd.
Michigan City, Indiana 46360



A: The deadline for the 2020 Promise Scholarship application is June 5, 2020 at 4:30pm CST.

A: Check here for eligibility requirements.

A: No. You may only apply as a senior.

A: If you did not apply by the deadline senior year of high school, you will not be eligible for the Promise Scholarship.

A: Yes. You must reapply every year. Check this website late fall for next year’s application. Returning students can apply here.

A: Yes. Once you become a Promise Scholar, you must reapply every year for renewal funding. Failure to apply by the deadline will result in the loss of future Promise funding.

A: Yes! There are many scholarship opportunities. Here are some:

If you are in 7th or 8th grade, apply for 21st Century Scholarship

Unity Foundation Scholarships


Visit the MCHS website scholarship and awards page.

A: Check out our latest community service opportunities here.

A: Contact Nancy Smith at, or call at 871.6881, or contact your guidance counselor at MCHS.

A: Send to:

Nancy Smith
Promise Scholarship
100 E Michigan Blvd City Hall
Michigan City IN 46360

A: Accreditation is a process by which colleges demonstrate that their credits and degrees meet acceptable levels of quality. Most non-profit, degree granting institutions are regionally accredited, while most for-profit colleges and universities are not. The Department of Education recognizes regionally accredited schools, making them eligible to participate in federal student financial aid programs.

A: The initial funding for the Promise Scholarship is monies allocated from the Boyd Gaming Fund that Michigan City uses for city improvements. The Mayor and Promise Director will be looking for alternative funding sources and corporate partners as a way to grow the initiative.

A: Apply your Senior year. If you are eligible, your scholarship will be deferred until your military service is complete.