Fact Sheet | February 15, 2024

TICAS Michigan Statement and Fact Sheet on Governor Whitmer’s 2024-25 Budget Proposal

Author: Onjila Odeneal, Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) applauds Governor Whitmer’s visionary proposal to provide every Michigander an affordable pathway to a quality education from universal Pre-K through community college. This proposal builds on the state’s creation of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship that awards students up to $5,500 a year to cover college costs at a Michigan college or university. When combined with the Governor’s newly proposed investments, Michigan residents will have unprecedented access to the resources needed for equitable upward economic mobility.  

We specifically appreciate the Governor’s proposal to invest:  

  • $30 million to expand Michigan Achievement Scholarship in support of the proposed Michigan Guarantee, which will provide a free community college pathway for all Michiganders with a high school diploma by bridging the gap to Michigan Reconnect; 
  • $40 million to improve FAFSA completion; 
  • 2.5% increase in funding for Michigan’s public community colleges and universities; 
  • $21 million for student exposure and experience building in local and state key industries; 
  • $1.4 billion to rehabilitate or build 10,000 units of affordable housing; 
  • $577 million to establish the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, & Potential (MILEAP); and 
  • Shifting state aid programs from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding to state General Funds. 

Under the umbrella of the Michigan Guarantee, the state has the unique opportunity to streamline and simplify its state financial aid programs, making it clear to families that the state has generous aid available to help them afford the credentials they need for better paying jobs in Michigan. To do this, we can save the state money by removing redundant programs, establishing a clear set of equitable rules for eligibility, aligning disbursement practices, and strengthening reporting requirements for continued improvement of program quality. These changes would make Michigan a national leader in simple, clear, and high-quality financial aid.  

Additionally, addressing the state affordable housing gaps will help create the stability students and families need to meet their educational and employment goals. Allowing students to take advantage of these programs would help address clear and present housing insecurity which leads to students never enrolling or dropping/stopping out of postsecondary education.   

Finally, although our focus is on higher education policy, we want to commend the Governor for her holistic vision that connects investments across the preschool to postsecondary pipeline, including tax credits for caregivers, universal pre-K, improved school funding, and free school breakfast and lunch throughout both the school year and summer months. These investments will help to alleviate the costs of educating, caring for, and feeding Michigan families. In turn, this will increase the quality-of-life Michiganders of all ages can expect while living in the Mitten state. 

We look forward to continuing to partner with the Governor, Legislature, and new MILEAP department to invest in equitably accessible and affordable higher education pathways, as well as support services and systems that help students complete their degrees. We are eager to build on the state’s momentum helping students and families meet their educational and career goals.