Michigan Scholarship Program to Lower College Costs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan bill that will award college scholarships to most Michigan high school graduates attending college in the state.
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  • The Michigan Scholarship Program was created through bipartisan legislation.
  • Many of the state's high school graduates will be able to receive state aid after completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  • The program has $250 million in funding for fiscal year 2023.

Most Michigan high school graduates will soon see the cost of attending an in-state college significantly reduced.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan bill last week creating the $250 million Michigan Achievement Scholarship program, which will award up to $5,500 per year for students attending the state's trade schools, community colleges, public universities, and private colleges and universities.

This appropriations bill represents a major step forward for higher education here in Michigan, said state Rep. Samantha Steckloff, a Democrat from Farmington Hills. But more than that, as someone who worked in college student services for years, I am proud of the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship and what I know it can do to alleviate the financial stresses of the college experience for many Michigan families.

Michigan's high school class of 2023 will be the first students eligible for the scholarships. They will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine if they are eligible and demonstrate financial need.

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Students attending a community college are eligible for up to $2,750 per year. Those attending a private school are eligible for up to $4,000 per year, and public university students are eligible for up to $5,500 per year.

According to the press release, Michigan Achievement Scholarships will be awarded to:

  • 94% of students attending community colleges
  • 79% of students attending a private college or university
  • 76% of students attending a public university

These scholarships will allow more Michigan families and students to pay for career training at the school that best fits their individual career goals — whether that's a trade school, a community college, or a university, said state Sen. Kim LaSata, a Republican from Coloma. Expanding the eligibility of this scholarship to cover traditional classroom education, as well as hands-on training at a skilled trades academy, is a great way to both strengthen and diversify Michigan's workforce.

The scholarship program is the latest move by Michigan to make college more affordable. In 2019, it launched the Michigan Reconnect program, which provides students who are 25 and older free tuition at local district community colleges to earn an associate degree or Pell-eligible skill certificate.