Michigan Higher Education Policy Update

Michigan Achievement Scholarship

The state of Michigan has recently made historic investments in higher education access and affordability, including investing $250 million more dollars in financial aid, increasing operational spending to institutions, and designing a new financial aid program with key equity driven design elements. While these gains are critical for ensuring every Michigander has better access to a quality and affordable postsecondary education, there is more work to be done to improve the state’s education to workforce pipeline by streamlining and simplifying the state’s financial aid programs and investing in postsecondary education pathways.

On October 11, Governor Whitmer joined legislators and community leaders to sign the Michigan Achievement Scholarship into law. The Michigan Achievement Scholarship was originally funded with $250 million in the state’s FY23 budget finalized in July; the details of the program, however, were not finalized until September. The program incorporates several design elements that will ensure that it is more effective and equitable, including:

  • Pathways to 2-year, 4-year, and skills trade education so that students can pursue the pathway which best fits their career goals and needs;
  • The alignment of eligibility requirements to the Pell Grant so that students only need to complete a FAFSA, meet the needs-based criteria, and maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP) to remain eligible; and
  • The ability to use the program for up to 5 years at a 4-year institution and 3 years at a 2-year institution, aligning the program closer to a student’s average time to completion.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship also requires sufficient reporting requirements, allowing the public to fully understand and appreciate the impact of the program on Michigan students over time.

Looking to the FY24 budgetary process, which will begin early next year, it will be important to build on these new investments and approaches to financial aid. Continuing to simplify and strengthen the state financial aid programs will improve program administration, communication, and effectiveness.

See our Resources

What’s Next?

As we prepare for a new fiscal year, the MI TICAS team wants to be sure to keep the community informed on what’s on the horizon related to higher education and financial aid policy. If there is any item listed that you’d like to learn more about or be more closely involved in, please feel free to reach out to our team by email (msteel@ticas.org) or by scheduling a meeting here.

  • Community outreach initiative: The MI TICAS team will be connecting with community partners to learn more about the policy barriers they are experiencing and why, as well as identify specific issue areas that TICAS can provide support and resources for.
  • Higher education policy priority list for FY24: Working with stakeholders to develop a student-centered priority list to uplift areas of opportunity and interest for improving support and access for students navigating their journeys to and through college.
  • Pending bills and Ongoing Recommendations
    • Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)
      • Bills Introduced
        • Bill HB6264: Expanding the years of access beyond 4 years post-graduation
          • Why this is important: There is a gap of access for 2-year state institutional resources between TIP and Reconnect.
          • Next steps: Continue to advocate for alignment between state financial aid programs.
          • Potential impact: This will ensure students have access to resources that increase college affordability at any time.
        • Bill HB6263: Increasing the $250 fee cap
          • Why this is important: Students incur institutional fees upward $1,613 that are required for their intended studies. TIP currently only covers $250 of those fees.
          • Next steps: Continue to advocate for equitable aid that helps low-income students afford a quality education.
          • Potential impact: Expanding the coverage of fees will also expand access to high-demand programs with higher fees such as Nursing.
    • Michigan Achievement Scholarship: New state aid program, how does it impact students

Partner Updates

Please send any resources, events, or other materials that you would like us to share in our newsletters to Manon Steel at msteel@ticas.org.

Community Partner Highlight

Raise the Standard: Revitalize the Family Independence Program to Help More Michigan Families Reach Financial Stability by Peter Ruark at the Michigan League for Public Policy is a report which outlines the need to expand the eligibility payment standard for the Family Independence Program (FIP) to help families with low incomes to cover basic needs.

  • FIP, like our state financial aid programs, is funded through TANF and has not been expanded since 2008. The maximum benefit for a family of three is $492.
  • Expanding the eligibility payment standard will cover more of a family’s basic needs, ensuring our highest need families are able to access housing, food, healthcare and other essential services.
  • All Michiganders need and deserve their basic needs to be met; this is critical for helping families become financially independent.

TICAS MI Resource

Michigan TICAS team has launched a new interactive map. This map includes enrollment and postsecondary data by county and TICAS region. This tool was developed to support communities with navigating the work and partnerships necessary to identify areas of opportunity for access and credential attainment approvement within your community.

There are also extended data fact sheets available by region on the webpage (county by request). Explore your community data and identify how the work you and your partners do impact the change to come. If you need any support navigating the data points, data sources, and/or ways to utilize the data to inform your work, please feel free to reach out to the MI TICAS team!

Check out the MI TICAS Interactive Map!

Headliners in Access and Affordability

Career Opportunities

  • Michigan Policy Student Intern (Contact the TICAS Michigan team)

New Community Partners, Welcome!

Partnership is a great opportunity not only for the purpose of collaboration and alignment of shared interest, but it also allows our team at TICAS to learn how we can best advocate for the needs of Michigan students and families in policy by learning from community partners.

Please join us in uplifting community partner organizations impacting students on their postsecondary journeys across the state.

Baraga County Community Foundation

Barry County Chamber & Economic Development Alliance

Capitol Area College Access Network (CAPCAN) 

College and Career Access Center of Jackson

Community Foundation for Mason

Council for Strong America 

Detroit College Access Network

Detroit Regional Chamber: Detroit Drives Degrees

Detroit Regional Chamber: Detroit Promise

Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce

Education Trust – Midwest

Fostering Success Michigan 

Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation

Guiding Life to Independence through Development and Education

Keweenaw Area Community Foundation

Keweenaw Learning Center

Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) 

Latin Americans United for Progress

Merit Goodness: Give Merit

Michigan Association for College Admissions Counseling (MACAC) 

Michigan Association of Community and Adult Education (MACAE) 

Michigan Center for Youth Justice (MCYJ) 

Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)

Michigan Economic Center (MEC) 

Michigan Education Association

Michigan Hispanic Collaborative (MiHC) 

Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) 

Michigan Student Financial Aid Assoc. (MSFAA)

Michigan’s Children

Otsego Community Foundation 

Park West Foundation

Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation 

The Student Advocacy Center


United Way of Washtenaw County

West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology

Youth Development Resource Center

If you are interested in sharing with us how we could best support your community and partners alike in policy, please use and share the form below on “How to Get Involved”. This form is not a commitment form but rather an opportunity for us to learn more about the needs in supporting Michigan communities in higher education policy and resources needed.

How to Get Involved