Governor Snyder signs education budget – major steps in the right direction to expand college access

On Friday, July 14th, Governor Snyder signed the state education budget for Fiscal Year 2018 (which will begin on October 1) at the Kent ISD Career Tech Center.  It was no coincidence that he chose to sign the budget at a venue that exists to help students become college and career ready.  MCAN is thrilled to see that included in the budget were several items that will expand access to postsecondary educational opportunities for Michigan students.  Here are the highlights- 

MCAN & College Access/Success  

  • MCAN Appropriation:  For the sixth year in a row, the Governor proposed and the legislature supported a line-item appropriation to MCAN to support MCAN operations, LCANs, college advisers, subgrants to high schools, and statewide campaigns like Michigan College Month and Michigan College Decision Day.  The $3 million appropriation helps MCAN leverage additional financial support from philanthropic, federal, institutional, and other local sources.  We are incredibly grateful for the broad bi-partisan support for MCAN that Governor Snyder and the legislature has demonstrated since 2012. 
  • New CEPI Reporting on Academic Progress:  The budget requires that CEPI make new reports available to high schools that will provide data on the academic progress of former students by institution.  These reports will help high schools make data-driven decisions and forge new partnerships with colleges and universities. 
  • Michigan Transfer Network Enhancements:  The budget includes a one-time appropriation of $1,025,000 for improvements to the Michigan Transfer Network (MTN).  The MTN website helps students, advisers, and other college access professionals find transfer course equivalencies between Michigan colleges and universities.  This funding will provide for a new and more user-friendly website, including a course equivalency database, info about the Michigan Transfer Agreement, and Associate-to-Bachelor degree transfer pathways that will allow a student to maximize their credits earned.  This was a recommendation in the Reaching for Opportunity report. 

Financial Aid:  Overall, the budget reflects an additional $16.3 million investment in need-based student financial aid.  Financial aid is MCAN’s top advocacy priority and recommendations to increase need-based aid were featured in both the Reaching for Opportunity report and the Governor’s 21st Century Education Commission final report.   

  • Tuition Incentive Program (TIP):  The budget includes a $5.3 million increase to a total of $58.3 million to TIP, an 8.6% increase.  The TIP program targets low-income students who are Michigan Medicaid-eligible for 24 months in a 36-consecutive-month period and pays tuition/fees for associate degree and certificate programs as well as up to $2,000 at a four-year institution.  Several other provisions related to the administration of the TIP scholarship were included – reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you want more info. 
  • Michigan Competitive Scholarship:  The budget increased funding to the MCS program by $8 million from $18.4 million to $26.4 million, a 43.6% increase.  The annual MCS award will be $1,000 per student.  The deadline to apply for MTG is March 1.  Eligibility expires 10 years after high school graduation.  MCS provides scholarships to undergraduates students demonstrating moth need and merit. 
  • Michigan Tuition Grant:  The budget increases funding by $3 million from $35 million to $38 million, an 8.6% increase.  The annual MTG award will be $2,000 per student.  The Tuition Grant is a need-based grant for students attending private institutions.
  • FAFSA:  Beginning with the high school graduating class of 2018, students must complete the FAFSA to be considered eligible for any scholarship or grant administered by the Department of Treasury. 

College and University Operations

  • The budget includes a 1% increase to community colleges for operations ($3,158,900).  The increases range from 0.5%-3.2% boost for each of Michigan’s 28 community colleges. 
  • The budget includes a 2% increase to universities for operations ($28,000,000).  Half of the increase is across-the-board and half of the increase is performance-based and only eligible to institutions who restrain tuition to minimum increases (the greater of 3.8% or $475).  The increases range from 1.5% (LSSU) to 2.7% (GVSU) for each of Michigan’s 15 public universities. 

Other Exciting Gems

  • Career Preparation and Readiness Platform:  The budget includes $1,000,000 to expand a web-based career preparation and readiness platform statewide.  The state will likely identify and provide funding to support an existing platform that helps students explore careers, connect with local companies that provide opportunities for job shadowing and internships, and understand the education/training requirements needed for specific careers. 
  • AP Incentive Program:  The budget includes $750,000 to cover to costs of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate test fees for low-income students.  This is three times the amount appropriated last year!  

 

Author: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director
Posted: July 26, 2017

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