New Michigan Achievement Scholarship hailed as a “game changer”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed bipartisan legislation to deliver $250 million to ease the financial burden on young Michiganders pursuing higher education.

The bill creates the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which will lower tuition costs by up to $5,500 per year for college and occupational training students, reducing the need to take out excessive loans.

This move, which was praised by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, is the latest progress toward fulfilling Whitmer’s ambitious 2018 campaign promise to ensure every Michigander has a real path obtain the skills or education necessary to land a good-paying job.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship will provide scaled support for students attending occupational training programs, community colleges, tribal colleges, private nonprofit colleges, and public universities. These scholarships will be available for students graduating high school in 2023 and beyond.

“I am proud to sign a bipartisan bill to establish the Michigan Achievement Scholarship and lower the cost of college for the vast majority of Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “These scholarships will build on the success of the Michigan Reconnect program and save the vast majority of high school graduates thousands of dollars a year as they pursue higher education at community college, private college, or a public university.”

Upon taking office, the governor created the Office of “Sixty by Thirty” to prioritize her goal of having 60% of Michiganders earn a degree or certificate by 2030.

This new office has been facilitating innovative programs like Michigan Reconnect and Futures for Frontliners, which have already provided tuition-free secondary education opportunities for over 185,000 Michiganders.

“This much-needed boost in scholarship support for students across Michigan is truly transformational and represents opportunities for learners of all backgrounds to secure degrees and credentials at the institution of their choice with far less or no debt,” saidRep. Ben Frederick (R-Owosso), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education.

The long-term economic impact of this effort cannot be overstated. The average debt load of a Michigan college graduate is nearly $30,000, with payments averaging $460/month over 20 years.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship will offer relief and increased financial independence to young adults just entering the workforce, providing more opportunities to become homeowners and financial freedom to invest in our growing economy.

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