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Democrats announce plan to create debt-free Community College

Posted: 10:08 AM, May 22, 2018
Updated: 2018-05-22 14:08:03Z

Michigan's House Democrats want the state to provide full-tuition scholarships for community college students.

Michigan House Democrats announced a plan on Monday, called the "HirED Opportunity Act."

It would grant the scholarship to recent high school graduates who enroll fulltime in a community college. This focuses on a plan to provide debt-free community college to all eligible students.

“Skyrocketing higher education costs have priced too many of our best and brightest out of the educational opportunities that would prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow, and our state has suffered because of it, said House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). “The HirED Opportunity Act not only ensures that every student has the opportunity to build economic security for themselves and their family, but that Michigan has the well-trained, highly-equipped workforce it needs to compete in the global marketplace.”

Some aspects of the program include full-time enrollment for up to two years, a mentorship program, community service, and maintaining a maximum 2.0 GPA.

This would begin in the 2019-2020 school year.

“As a first-generation high school and college graduate, I know firsthand the added value that higher education and skilled training provide, absent burdensome student loan debt,” said state Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). “Every Michigander deserves that freedom to choose their own educational and economic future, regardless of zip code or family earning history. The HirED Opportunity Act paves the way, allowing students the freedom to build a better, more secure life for themselves and their family without being saddled with massive debt.”

For older adults, the program would cover tuition and place them in a career training program.

To be eligible, individuals must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, the U.S. government's free form for students to receive loans, grants and other types of financial aid.

The potential HirED program would fill in remaining tuition costs.

The plan will likely face opposition in the GOP-controlled Legislature.