Happy February Everyone! We have all made it through our prep for the budget season and are now ready to dive right in!

On January 25, Governor Whitmer made the first State of the State address of her second term. In it, she outlined the following priorities for Michigan education:

  • Expanding access to tutoring by spring break,
  • Continued commitment to getting the state to its 60 by 30 goal,
  • Lowering the age of eligibility for the Michigan Reconnect program to 21, and
  • Providing ongoing support to the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.

You can watch the Governor’s speech here or read the transcript here.

On February 8, she released her full budget proposal which can be found here. How do the Governor’s priorities align with TICAS Michigan’s’? TICAS Michigan applauds the continued dedication to the state’s 60 by 30 goal and the following proposed investments in higher education access, affordability and success:

  • $300 million to expand tutoring access for Michigan students,
  • $15 million to boost FAFSA completion,
  • $140 million to lower the age of eligibility for Reconnect to 21 and another $75 million to provide a BA pathway for students who did not enroll in higher education or dropped/stopped out of college between 2020 – 2022, and
  • A combined $110 million for student wellness, success, and basic needs resources.

We look forward to continue working with the Governor and Legislature to consider the community impact and policy design implications of these proposals. For example, we recommend making the program to develop students’ soft skills for the workforce as easy to access as possible.

See our resources for more information on the Governor’s budget proposal, how it aligns with TICAS Michigan’s priorities, and where we see critical opportunities to make the most of new investments and other changes.


What’s Next?

February means the release of the Governor’s budget priorities for the year and the opportunity to get your priorities reflected in the House and/or Senate budgets. There are plenty of opportunities for conversations, celebrations, and adjustments. Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Review the Governor’s State of the State address and budget proposal. Celebrate the investments that support your priorities and identify opportunities to strengthen and improve them.
  • Uplift these wins and opportunities in a social media post, fact sheet, or coalition letter!
  • Use these documents to highlight your priorities in future meetings.
  • Set up conversations with members of the House and Senate to discuss potential investments in your policy priorities.
  • Try to align your conversation with the legislator’s personal priorities for the year.
  • Be sure to follow up the post-meeting with any additional information!
  • It might be helpful to track who acts particularly interested in your priorities.
  • Get ready for the release of the House and Senate Budgets between February and March.

As we prepare for a new fiscal year, the TICAS Michigan 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 above that you’d like to learn more about or be more closely involved in, please reach out to our team by email (msteel@ticas.org) or by scheduling a meeting here.


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 FY24 Budget Highlights

Education Trust – Midwest

Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) Budget Resources

Michigan College Access Network

Michigan Community Colleges Association (MCCA) Budget Resources

Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) Budget Resources

Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) Budget Resources

TICAS Michigan Resources

This month we put a call out for collective wisdom from partners on the best ways to connect students with basic needs resources in their community. We saw dominant themes emerge around the need for trusting relationships with students as well as meeting students where they are at. For TICAS Michigan, community insight is critical for shaping good policy and we hope to continue to work with on-the-ground experts to create recommendations rooted in their experience. Read their thoughts here.

Our national research team recently produced an analysis finding that students attending colleges with higher percentages of racially marginalized students owe more in college debt and earn less in the workforce. Read Shifting Narratives: Centering Race in Defining and Measuring College Value here.

Partner Events and Resources

February Conferences and Events


Look Out For

New 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.

Atlantic Impact

Baldwin Promise Zone and College Access Center

Battle Creek College Access Network 

Detroit Phoenix Center

Developing Kids

Grand Rapids Promise Zone

Hazel Park Promise 

Mason County Promise

Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit

University Prep Schools

Urban Neighborhood Initiatives

Ypsilanti District Library

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.