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Michigan College Access Network responds to State of Michigan 2019-20 budget cuts

Posted at 10:10 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 15:58:57-04

LANSING, Mich. — Statement from Michigan College Access Network Interim Executive Director Ryan Fewins-Bliss:

The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is disappointed that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer line-item vetoed the Michigan Tuition Grant which financially supports Michigan students attending private and independent colleges in the state.

We implore our senate and house legislators to work with the governor to restore this funding in a supplemental bill. Furthermore, we ask that the legislature and governor include the Michigan Reconnect Program to support adults returning to college to earn a degree or certificate in that bill.

The Michigan College Access Network supports and has adopted the governor’s push for Sixty by 30 — 60% of Michigan residents with degrees or postsecondary certificates by 2030. In order to get there, Michigan must increase state-based financial aid exponentially as it has seen a nearly 50% decline in state aid since 2006-07, according to The Century Foundation.

This is unacceptable. A lack of financial aid disproportionally affects our priority populations: students of color, first-generation college-going students and low-income students. Restoring the Michigan Tuition Grant and launching the Michigan Reconnect Program will be a great start to the vital increase in state-based financial aid.

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45% as of 2019. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit

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