The state’s new tuition program that pays for adults without a college degree to earn an associate degree or a trade certificate at a community college for free has gotten off to a strong start. Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Acting Director Susan Corbin tells WSJM News more than 40,000 people have applied for Michigan Reconnect in the past two weeks. The big response to the Future for Frontliners program earlier this year gave state officials an inkling Michigan Reconnect would be popular.
“This is a program that really can be transformational for some of our Michigan citizens who have not had the opportunity to go to school, or maybe started school and they want to go back,” Corbin said. “This removes a big financial barrier.”
Corbin notes the program was created with legislation.
“This was created through bipartisan legislation. This is a program that the governor proposed, but there was strong support from both Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature. Our legislative leadership understands that in Michigan there’s a talent gap.”
Corbin says the governor is seeking another $120 million in next year’s budget to ensure the program continues. It was created with an intital investment of $30 million. She notes someone with an associate degree earns about $10,000 more a year than someone with only a high school diploma. Those who enroll in Michigan Reconnect have four years to complete their degrees. You can find out more about the program at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.