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About Michelle Miller-Adams

Miller-Adams’s work at the Upjohn Institute focuses on the local, state, and national movement toward tuition-free college. She is the author of The Path to Free College: In Pursuit of Access, Equity, and Prosperity (Harvard Education Press, 2021), Promise Nation: Transforming Communities through Place-Based Scholarships (Upjohn Institute, 2015), The Power of a Promise: Education and Economic Renewal in Kalamazoo (Upjohn Institute, 2009), and Owning Up: Poverty, Assets and the American Dream (Brookings Institution Press, 2002), as well as an earlier book on the World Bank. One of the nation’s leading experts on the Kalamazoo Promise and the free-college movement, she speaks with local and national media and advises state policymakers and community stakeholders on their tuition-free college initiatives.

Miller-Adams is co-director of the Institute's place-based research initiative that explores how communities facing economic challenges can create broadly shared prosperity for their residents. In this role, she is co-author of the initiative’s reports, Building Shared Prosperity: How Communities Can Create Good Jobs for All (2019) and Investing in Community: A Playbook for Connecting Economic and Skills Development (2020). She is also co-project director of a Strada Education Foundation grant to study the workforce outcomes of Promise programs. In addition to her role at the Institute, Miller-Adams is a professor of political science at Grand Valley State University.


Present Faculty Member, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Present Senior Researcher, Upjohn Institute, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Curriculum Vitae

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Contact Information

300 South Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4686
Fax: 269.343.3318


Postsecondary access & Promise scholarships (43)