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Over 70,000 Michigan residents have applied for a state program to attend community college tuition-free, granting thousands a chance to head back to the classroom or enhance their skills without burning a hole in their wallet.
The state hoped 60,000 residents would apply to the Michigan Reconnect program before Memorial Day. That metric was met in mid-March, perhaps a sign of the appeal of affordable education and job training.
Another 120,000 Michigan residents who were frontline workers in the early months of the pandemic applied for a separate free tuition program in 2020, bringing the total who could get a big boost toward a college degree to 190,000.
Michigan residents are eligible to apply for Michigan Reconnect if they are 25 or older, have lived in the state for at least a year, possess a high school diploma or an equivalent, and have not completed a college degree. Over 4.1 million adults are eligible for the program which, starting on Feb. 2, offered to cover the costs of community college and up to $1,500 in scholarships for in-demand job training certificate programs, such as in manufacturing, healthcare or business management.
Michigan Reconnect isn’t a blanket guarantee of free tuition for all applicants. Those who do not live in a community college district or intend to enroll in a community college outside of their district may be able to attend at a discounted rate under support from the program or through Futures for Frontliners, but not be free.