Baker College students at graduation.
In light of funds provided through the COVID-19 American Rescue Plan Act combined with a state budget surplus, Michigan state leaders are proposing several measures this year to assist students in making a college degree more accessible.
The new plan includes multiple proposals that will ensure several financial aid programs will receive new or expanded budgets. The Senate budget includes the creation of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, providing up to $6,000 a year to students attending a public or private Michigan university and up to $3,000 a year for students attending a Michigan community college, tribal college or qualified private training institution. Awarded students must be enrolled full-time, complete the FAFSA, and anticipate family assistance of $25,000 or less per year.
The House has approved its budget proposals including expanding the Michigan Reconnect program’s budget, which will allow students as young as 21 to participate. The program currently enables Michigan residents 25 and older to attend an in-district community college tuition-free to earn a certificate or associate degree.
Current proposals would also expand the budget for other financial aid scholarships and grants already in existence. The Michigan Competitive Scholarship would be expanded from $1,000 to $1,500 per year per student, and the Michigan Tuition Grant, awarded to students attending independent universities such as Baker College, will increase awards from $2,800 to $3,000 per year. Further legislative reform introduced will allow students to stack both scholarships.
Michigan Senate and House of Representatives will now work with the governor’s office to create the final budget. As budget negotiations advance, Michigan residents are encouraged to contact their state legislators and request meaningful investments in higher education.
Read about these proposals in the article by Bridge Michigan.