Fact Sheet | May 9, 2024

TICAS Michigan Statement and Fact Sheet on 2024-25 Legislative Budget Proposal

Statement of Onjila Odeneal, Senior Director of Policy & Advocacy 

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) applauds the Michigan Legislature’s commitment to expanding quality career preparation, improving FAFSA completion, making college more affordable, and reducing the cost of housing. Together, these investments will help make a college degree more accessible for Michiganders, boost their odds of achieving a sustainable living and obtaining a higher quality of life.  

Specifically, we appreciate the legislature’s proposed investments in TICAS Michigan priorities: 

  • Expanding career exposure and career development opportunities for students,  
  • Increasing FAFSA completion,  
  • Strengthening and streamlining the Michigan Achievement Scholarship,  
  • Helping students cover burdensome non-tuition costs; and  
  • Extending affordable housing opportunities across the state.  

We also want to applaud the legislature’s proposals to bolster teacher recruitment and retention, re-enroll individuals with some college but no degree, and establish a center for adult student success. These policies will streamline the education to workforce pipeline and provide citizens with support they need to complete a degree, enter the workforce, and make it in Michigan.  

To maximize the impact of these and other investments for students and the state, we recommend the following: 

  • Expand recruitment and retention programs made available for teachers to school counselors and other student support staff to address significant gaps in capacity and high student to counselor ratios. This helps improve the personnel pipeline to get support to students necessary for success. 
  • Align state financial aid verification and disbursement practices with federal practices to reduce student burden and increase financial aid uptake. Many students are not gaining access to the state financial aid resources they need and qualify for due to the state’s additional requirements for disbursement. Using existing federal practices of verifying enrollment directly with institutions for aid disbursement will also help strengthen partnerships between institutions and the state.  
  • Ensure eligibility criteria for need-based housing assistance extends to qualified students enrolled in a postsecondary program. Many times, state resources and programs have work requirements that do not allow Michiganders to enroll or complete postsecondary programs, leaving them to choose between earning credentials for upward mobility or qualifying for basic needs resources. 

Creating these additional supports for students will help to ensure that they have the necessary tools to access, afford, and succeed if pursue a degree or credential, getting the state closer to its 60 by 30 goal. We look forward to continuing to work with legislators to finalize the best budget possible for Michiganders. The state has made significant efforts to bring a college degree or skilled credential within reach for Michigan’s students and families. Policymakers must build on this momentum to address persistent racial and geographic gaps which prevent students from accessing, affording, or completing a postsecondary education.