(WXYZ) — More than 40,000 Michiganders have applied for free community college under the Michigan Reconnect program announced two weeks ago.
The bipartisan plan will give any Michigander who is 25 or older the chance to get a tuition-free associate degree from a community college or skills certificate.
According to the state, the goal is to help close the state's talent gap and aging workforce, and get at least 60% of people to have a degree or post-secondary credential by 2030.
“Michigan Reconnect isn’t just smart for our state’s economy,” said Susan Corbin, acting director of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “It’s the right way to create pathways for Michigan workers – pathways to hope, pathways to equity and pathways to stronger families and communities.”
Less than 18 hours after applications opened up on Feb. 2, more than 1,700 people applied for the $1.5 million in skills scholarships at private training schools.
If students attend college in the district they live, the tuition is free. If it's in a college district they don't live in, Michigan Reconnect pays the in-district part of the tuition and students will have to pay the remaining balance.
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
- Have not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)
The state is also hosting a series of virtual news updates on Michigan Reconnect for different areas. They are:
- Northern Michigan/Upper Peninsula – Monday, Feb. 22, 10:30-11 a.m.
- Flint/Saginaw/Bay City/Midland – Monday, March 1, 10:30-11 a.m.
- West Michigan – Monday, March 15, 10:30-11 a.m.
- Detroit/Southeast Michigan – Monday, March 30, 10:30-11 a.m.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.