The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The Student News Site of Schoolcraft College

Schoolcraft Connection

The power of love
The power of love
July 2, 2024

Free college y’all

Michigan Reconnect program removes the cost barrier for students

Jobs with requirements of education besides a high school diploma just became that much more accessible. 

To remove the financial barrier that often blocks people from attaining such requirements, the Michigan Reconnect program is designed to allow people in the workforce to re-enter with new and stronger skills to succeed even further in the state. 

“I am hopeful that the Michigan Reconnect program will significantly increase the accessibility of college education by eliminating financial obstacles,” said Chief Student Enrollment Officer Melissa Schultz. “This program will empower eager individuals to either complete their unfinished education or [start] a new academic journey to enhance their knowledge and skills in their present or prospective careers, ultimately leading to an increased potential for higher lifetime earnings.”

The program offers free in-district tuition at Michigan Community Colleges for those achieving an associates degree/Pell-eligible skill certificate or financial assistance, including up to $1,500 in tuition costs for those pursuing a career training program. 

To qualify for the Michigan Reconnect program, you must be 25 years of age or older, which Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer is trying to extend it to 21 years of age or older, have a highschool diploma or equivalent, have lived in Michigan for at least a year and have not previously completed a college degree. Students must also annually complete their FAFSA, meaning this program may not be accessible to international students. 

“[Michigan residents] have taken an important step to chase their dreams, learn new skills, and land a good-paying job to support themselves and their families,” said Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer according to “Because of their grit and determination, we can keep growing Michigan’s economy, supporting and attracting hardworking people, and powering small businesses in every region of our great state.”

An additional requirement specifically for Schoolcraft includes that students must maintain a 2.0 GPA while receiving the Reconnect aid. The college will cover the resident rate of tuition for both residents and non-residents, as well as cover mandatory fees by other restricted tuition aid. This financial aid is quoted as a last dollar scholarship because it only covers eligible charges that are not already paid by other restricted tuition aid, pell grants and other methods of payment that have been pursued first before applying for Michigan Reconnect. However, the program is designed for individuals of varying income to be able to access it. 

“College is expensive, and with Michigan Reconnect [the state has] opened the door to help with financing students’ return to college,” said the Executive Director of the Schoolcraft Foundation and Alumni Relations Dawn Magretta. “[The program] doesn’t eliminate the need for scholarships and a lot of times we fill the gap, but I think your money goes a longer way at community colleges and it’s a great place for those who don’t know exactly what they wanna study or where their career path is.” 

With already 1,830 students from Schoolcraft accessing the Michigan Reconnect program, they have been awarded $1,744,515 from this grant within the 2022-2023 academic year. Financial burdens and sacrifices can be removed from the equation, making it much easier for families to gain a higher education, thus substantially increasing the support for their family in the long run. 

For additional support, call 517-636-7000 or email [email protected], as well as the Schoolcraft Financial Aid at 734-462-4433 or email [email protected]. 

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About the Contributor
Kathryn Wenske
Kathryn Wenske, Editor-in-Chief
Hi, hello, my name is Kathryn. I was a homeschooled child and an athlete in two sports who actually didn’t enjoy English classes and writing. It was not until I started taking specialized classes after my Honors English classes in high school that I started to grow a passion and affection for writing and reading. I think the feedback I received from my instructors and mother also very likely contributed to the enjoyment I got out of those subjects; which is why I am so thankful for my instructors and mom.  As an undergrad planning to pursue Law and Legislation, My Editor-in-Chief position has greatly contributed to the teamwork, collaboration, leadership, product management and problems solving skills necessary for that field. I also love the voice the newspaper gives, not only to me but to a diverse variety of students to speak on subjects they are passionate about and want to bring awareness to. I am indebted to the team that I have and am looking forward to seeing where everyone’s passions take them! 

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