“In last week’s supplemental budget bill, Governor Whitmer and the Michigan legislature followed through on their $250 million commitment to investing in the state’s students, its workforce and long-term economic success. In July 2022, the state earmarked funding for a new financial aid program to increase college access and affordability for Michiganders. The program design details agreed to last week ensure that the resulting Michigan Achievement Scholarship will put a quality postsecondary education within reach of many more Michigan families as well as provide a more feasible pathway to meet the state’s 60 by 30 education attainment goal.
“TICAS applauds policymakers for integrating equitable design elements and accountability measures that will make the scholarship easier to access, maintain, and use towards covering the full cost of college, particularly for historically underrepresented populations. The design includes;
- Need-based state financial aid investments for students pursuing 2-year and 4-year degrees, as well as skilled trade paths.
- A guaranteed minimum award toward tuition and fees before other financial aid is applied (e.g., Pell Grants) A guaranteed minimum award despite other financial aid eligibility (e.g., Pell Grants)
- The use of FAFSA as the only application requirement for participation;
- The use of satisfactory academic progress (SAP) for continued eligibility;
- The use of expected family contribution (EFC) to determine eligibility and need;
- The ability to use the program for up to 5 years at a 4-year institution and 3 years at a 2-year institution; and
- The inclusion of sufficient reporting requirements so that the public can fully appreciate the impact and benefit of the program for Michigan students.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the Governor’s office, members of the legislature, and other education stakeholders on strengthening higher education investments and the path towards the state’s 60 by 30 goal. The establishment and implementation of the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship is a big step in our journey to ensuring financial aid is equitable, streamlined, and accessible for students and families, while minimizing student loan debt.”