Happy 2023! It’s a new year and new legislative session in Michigan, meaning there is an abundance of opportunities for making higher education in our state more accessible, affordable, and successful across the board.


November marked a historic election for Michigan, putting Democrats in power of the executive office, house, and senate for the first time since the 1980s. Despite holding the majority in each seat of power, the margin is very slim. This means that negotiating across the aisle will continue to be an imperative for getting things done in Lansing, even as new policy windows hopefully open up for education priorities.

Nonetheless, holding the majority allows Democrats the potential to move policies that have had little luck in the Republican controlled legislature. These include repealing right to work legislation, reviewing the pension tax, and gun control among others.

The election has also brought a slew of new legislators to the capitol. Their main goals will be to learn the ropes of state policymaking and identifying core policy goals. Our main goals will be to help them learn state higher education policy and make the case for them to include sustained investments in college access, affordability, and success in their agendas.

State Budget

January marks the beginning of the annual state budget cycle! To get involved early, we recommend doing these five things this month:

  • Keep track of the state’s financial situation and learn more about the budget process. If you need support on how to get started, please feel free to reach out to the TICAS Michigan team for training and resource opportunities.
  • Make a short list of policy objectives, being sure to also include:
    • Why the policy objective is necessary,
    • The potential impact of the policy objective, and
    • How much could the policy objective cost, especially if it is free
  • Identify partners and organizations that share similar priorities.
    • Reach out and see if you can collaborate on making sure these priorities become agenda items!
  • Meet with legislators who have expressed interest in these issues, the Governor’s office, and the relevant departments which oversee the issue area.
    • In each meeting, provide attendees with a copy of your priorities and explain their necessity for the betterment of Michiganders.
    • 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 to watch the state of the state and announcement of the Governor’s budget proposal on January 25th using one of the following:

What’s Next?

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 below 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.

  • Community outreach initiative: The TICAS Michigan 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.
  • FY24 Budget Priorities
    • Access
      • Create a set of supports to re-engage and enroll the high school graduates of 2020 – 2022 in post-secondary education.
      • Make FAFSA a high school graduation requirement and provide resources to support completion.
      • Expand tutoring opportunities and resources to reach all communities in need (e.g. rural communities) to address learning difficulties and ensure student success.
    • Affordability
      • Bridge the gap between TIP and Reconnect.
      • Increase $250 TIP fee cap.
    • Success
      • Invest in intensive support to students for completion.
      • Improve housing resources for community college students.
      • Establish clearer guidelines and information on stackable credential pathways and programs for students.
    • For why these priorities are important and their potential impacts, see 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 Highlight

2022 Michigan Teen Conference Resources for Life Toolkit, Fostering Success Michigan – This toolkit contains resources for individuals who were formerly a part of the foster care system and are now transitioning into adulthood. It includes resources and information on higher education, housing, physical & mental health, culture & identity, life skills, finances & employment, community connections, and government & legal resources.

Locked Up Too Long, Michigan Center for Youth Justice – This report identifies the factors which lead to youth involved in the justice system, and particularly those with diverse sexual orientation and/or gender identity and expression, detained in juvenile facilities longer than is necessary. They also list policy recommendations to address the systemic barriers which bar these youth from scheduled release.

TICAS Michigan Resources

The TICAS Michigan team will be launching its new resource toolkits, blogs, and budget priorities checklist this quarter. So, be on the lookout!

  • Resource Toolkits – These are learning resources for anyone at any skill level interested in learning more about the state budget, financial aid policy, and the state financial aid programs! They include an instructional presentation and activities to help develop relevant skillsets.
  • Blogs – These are short discussions of relevant policy issues. TICAS blogs will be open to submissions by the community and students. Submissions need only be a maximum of 250 words.

We are hoping to gather some perspectives from our community members for our February 2023 blog. The topic of the blog is “How do we better connect students with support and basic needs resources in their community to support their success?”

Interested in contributing a short response? Please fill out this form by January 27.

  • Budget Priorities Checklist – This is an ongoing list of our FY24 budget priorities. It will also track the status of these priorities as the budget season proceeds.

Partner Events and Resources

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.

Data Recognition Corporation

Discover You

Eastside Community Network

Lapeer County Community Foundation

Literacy and Beyond

Manistee County Community Foundation

Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals

Michigan Promise Zones

Michigan Teacher Leader Collaborative and Teach Plus

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.