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Bills would make more Michiganders eligible for free and reduced college tuition

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-03 17:36:27-04

LANSING, Mich. — More Michiganders could be eligible for free college tuition if legislation proposed by state Reps. Sarah Anthony and Ben Frederick gets the go-ahead.

The two bills introduced in the House would temporarily open the Michigan Reconnect program to people ages 21 to 24. The program started back in 2021 and provides free or deeply discounted tuition to pay for associate degrees and skilled trade certificates.

“With COVID disrupting almost every aspect of everybody's lives we realized that we could really build upon what we've already been doing with this reconnect program," said Remy Gelderloos, Anthony's legislative director.

Michigan Reconnect has been well used since it launched last year. About 93,000 students were accepted into the program, according to the Governor’s office.

"It's very important to us to make sure that more people are included in this program so we can allow them to eventually get that– get that degree, get that certificate, and get into a job that they want and contribute positively to whichever career path they choose," Gelderloos said.

The bills also aim to help students get through their programs more quickly by creating incentives for community colleges to give students credit for prior learning and life experience.

Anthony’s team says there is some bipartisan support for this package of bills– but the money to pay for this expansion would need to be included in the state budget by Sept. 30.

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