Whitmer signs bipartisan bill establishing college scholarship program

By: - October 11, 2022 1:45 pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs legislation establishing the Michigan Achievement Scholarship at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield. | Whitmer administration

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed bipartisan legislation establishing the Michigan Achievement Scholarship at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

The measure is designed to lower the cost of college by thousands of dollars a year for the vast majority of high school graduates. The Democrat also joined the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to celebrate the one-year anniversary of MI New Economy, her vision to expand economic opportunity and prosperity for all Michiganders.

“These scholarships will build on the success of the Michigan Reconnect program and save the vast majority of high school graduates thousands of dollars a year as they pursue higher education at community college, private college, or a public university,” said Whitmer.

Starting with the class of 2023, high school graduates will be eligible for more financial aid from the state, up to:   

  • $2,750 if they attend a community college, per year    
  • $5,500 if they attend a public university, per year   
  • $4,000 if they attend a private college or university, per year    

Students will be eligible if their family demonstrates financial need when they complete Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The Michigan Achievement Scholarship will cover:   

  • 94% of students attending community colleges   
  • 76% of students attending a public university   
  • 79% of students attending a private college or university 

State Sen. Kim LaSata (R-Bainbridge Twp.) said that scholarships “will allow more Michigan families and students to pay for career training at the school that best fits their individual career goals.”

“Expanding the eligibility of this scholarship to cover traditional classroom education, as well as hands-on training at a skilled trades academy, is a great way to both strengthen and diversify Michigan’s workforce,” said LaSata.  

Senate Appropriations Chair Jim Stamas (R-Midland) applauded the bipartisan effort to move the legislation and mentioned Budget Director Chris Harkins by name.

“Through the years, we’ve been able to get a balanced budget done. Budgets on time that move forward and are right for Michigan families,” said Stamas after the bill signing.  

The event was held at Lawrence Technological University, the alma mater of former Rep. Shane Hernandez, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor. Whitmer, whose running mate is Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, faces off against Republican Tudor Dixon on Nov. 8.

U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer | Ken Coleman

Just prior to the bill signing, Whitmer thanked the retiring U.S. Rep Brenda Lawrence (D-Southfield) for her service. Lawrence, who attended the signing and leaves federal office in January, previously served as Southfield mayor, the first African American to do so. 

Whitmer lauded Lawrence’s effort in helping to support President Joe Biden’s recent bipartisan infrastructure law as well as other legislation during her four, two-year terms. 

“Congresswoman Lawrence is an incredible public servant,” said Whitmer.  

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.

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