Tuition-Free Community College Available to All Michigan High School Grads

The fiscal year 2025 budget gives all high school graduates access to free tuition to state community colleges. Students with "higher financial need" can get an additional $1,000.
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  • The new Community College Guarantee provides free tuition to all high school graduates and an additional $1,000 for students with "higher financial need."
  • Michigan previously offered free community college to students 21 and older, but the new guarantee offers free tuition to more residents.
  • The guarantee will be a part of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which provides students with financial aid for community colleges, private and public institutions, and career training programs.
  • Other funding initiatives in the budget support free college for Indigenous students and tuition assistance for students from lower-income families.

Michigan is set to become the latest state to offer tuition-free community college to all high school graduates.

The Michigan Senate approved the fiscal year 2025 $82.5 billion budget on June 27. This budget will create the Community College Guarantee. And it will continue to support the Michigan Reconnect free-tuition program for students 21 and up with $52 million. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer first proposed the budget in February.

"As a parent, I know our kids are our number one priority, which is why this budget puts students first by making historic investments to improve learning outcomes from pre-K through college, so that every child can get a world-class education," Whitmer said in a press release celebrating the proposal passing the state Senate.

"Together, we are getting things done that make a real difference in people’s lives and ensuring everyone can 'make it' in Michigan and will continue to improve learning outcomes so every student can succeed."

The Community College Guarantee (CCG) covers tuition costs for all Michigan high school grads working toward an associate degree or certificate at a state community college. Students with "higher financial need" will receive $1,000 for other costs like food, housing, transportation, and childcare. The CCG could save over 18,000 students around $4,820 annually on tuition.

"Today, we passed a historic, balanced state budget that truly serves and uplifts Michigan families, students, schools, workers, and communities," state Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, said in the press release.

"By placing the hardworking people of our state at the forefront of our budget negotiations, we are building up a Michigan where everyone has an equitable opportunity to succeed."

The CCG will be included in the Michigan Achievement Scholarship for recent high school graduates attending a college, university, or career training program. The Achievement Scholarship provides:

  • Up to $2,750 per year for community college students
  • Up to $4,000 per year for private college or university students
  • Up to $5,500 per year for students attending a public university or four-year degree program at a community college
  • Up to $2,000 a year for learners in a career training program

Other Higher Education Investments in the Budget

Other higher education initiatives getting funded in the 2025 state budget include:

  • $14.5 million toward the North American Indian Tuition Waiver for free education for eligible Native American students at public universities and community colleges
  • $20 million toward the Tuition Incentive Program, which provides tuition support at public and private colleges and universities for students from lower-income families
  • $30 million for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship
  • A 1.5% ongoing and 1% one-time increase for all public university and community college operations