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91,000 Michiganders enjoying tuition free education from Michigan Reconnect scholarship program

The free tuition is offered through the Michigan Reconnect program, which helps Michiganders attain degrees and skills for new opportunities.
Credit: 13 OYS

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that 91,000 Michiganders are on their way to attain a tuition-free postsecondary degree or credential as part of the Michigan Reconnect scholarship program.

 “I want to congratulate all of the hardworking Michiganders who took the first step toward a brighter future, all while balancing so many other responsibilities,” said Gov. Whitmer said in a statement Wednesday. “Whether it’s a registered apprenticeship, an industry-recognized certification, a technical certificate, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or beyond, higher education or skills training opens so many doors."

Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program that pays for you to attend your in-district community college, and offers a large tuition discount if you attend an out-of-district community college. 

The scholarship program is a tool that the state is using to achieve Gov. Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal, which aims to increase the percentage of adults in the state with a postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.

"We have an ambitious but attainable goal to reach 60% of working-age adults with a postsecondary credential by 2030. Programs like Reconnect help us put Michiganders first and continue growing our economy,” Gov. Whitmer added.

Since the announcement of the Sixty by 30 goal in 2019, the percentage of working-age adults with a certificate, associate degree or higher has increased from 45% to 49%. 

“Michigan’s community colleges work tirelessly every day to change lives of students and make the communities they serve better places to live, learn, and work,” Michigan Community College Association President Brandy Johnson said. “Our member institutions are honored to partner in the state’s Sixty by 30 initiative because there’s nothing more important than equipping people with the training and credentials that they need to achieve prosperity.”

Michigan Reconnect is celebrating its one year anniversary after the program launched in February of 2021. The scholarship program is the largest effort in state history to ensure that eligible Michiganders will have an opportunity to earn an associate degree or skills certificate with free or discounted tuitions.

“More Michigan families are within reach of a college degree or skills certificate thanks to efforts like Michigan Reconnect,” Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Susan Corbin said. “We are creating new paths for fulfilling careers for our workers and opportunities for our Michigan businesses to fill critical talent needs so they can continue to compete, grow and innovate.” 

To be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, you must:

  • Be at least 25 years old when you apply
  • Have lived in Michigan for a year or more
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)

The program also offers scholarships to 70 private training schools that offer certificates in high-demand careers in industries.

There are currently 91,000 Michiganders enrolled in the Michigan Reconnect program and another nearly 15,000 Michigan Reconnect applicants waiting for approval.

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