LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, joined by Republican and Democratic legislators, officially announced the launch of the $30 million Michigan Reconnect program on Tuesday.
The program is the largest effort in state history to ensure that more than 4.1 million Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree will have an opportunity to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate.
“All Michiganders deserve a pathway to a good-paying job, whether they choose to pursue a college degree, technical certificate, or an apprenticeship,” Gov. Whitmer said during a virtual news conference. “Michigan Reconnect will connect thousands of Michiganders to good-paying jobs and connect businesses with the talent they need to thrive in their communities. I’m proud of the hard work that has gone into creating this historic new opportunity and look forward to continuing bipartisan work with lawmakers toward our goal of ensuring 60% of Michiganders will have a postsecondary degree by 2030.”
Michigan Reconnect will pay the cost of tuition for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at their in-district community college. The program also offers skills scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition through more than 70 private training schools with 120 programs that offer certificates in high-demand careers in industries such as manufacturing, construction, information technology, healthcare or business management.
Starting today, Michiganders can submit applications at Michigan.gov/Reconnect. The application takes less than five minutes to complete and can be done on a mobile device.
Reconnect scholarships are accepted by all Michigan community colleges and are even available to eligible adults who are already enrolled in their local community college. The program pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied. For those who choose to attend an out-of-district community college, Reconnect will pay the in-district portion of tuition.
The program builds on the success of the Futures for Frontliners initiative Gov. Whitmer launched last September and to which more than 120,000 Michiganders submitted applications by the Dec. 31 deadline. Approximately 20,000 Michiganders who applied but didn’t qualify for Futures for Frontliners and are 25 years or older will automatically be eligible for tuition-free college assistance with Michigan Reconnect.
To be eligible for Reconnect program, an individual must:
- Be at least 25 years old when you apply
- Be a Michigan resident for at least 1 year (US citizen or eligible noncitizen)
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent, e.g., GED
- Have not yet earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
- Not be in default on a federal student loan
If you have previously earned a certificate but have not yet earned an associate or bachelor’s degree, you are eligible to apply for this program. Also, if you are currently enrolled in an associate degree program or occupational certificate program but have not completed either, you are eligible to apply for this program.
Individuals looking to take advantage of Reconnect who are unsure what they’d like to study are encouraged to consider some of Michigan’s high-demand careers. A list of those careers and wages by occupation and region is available on the Michigan Reconnect website.
For questions regarding the application process or for technical support while completing the application, please contact the state’s customer care center at 517-636-7000 or visit michigan.gov/reconnect.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the 13 ON YOUR SIDE app now.