Last week during Governor Whitmer’s first State of the State Address she stated that she wanted the taxpayers of Michigan to pay for High School graduates to go to 2 years of Community College or tuition assistance for two years at a four year public college or university.

Now she has given us Michigan taxpayers some guidance how she sees the program rolling out.

MLive is reporting that during her address she stated:

If you are willing to put in the work, you’re going to have a path to succeed in Michigan

Governor Whitmer proposed two paths and the criteria for those proposed paths for her MI Opportunity scholarship is as follows:

  • Both paths would require students to have lived in Michigan for at least one year, and they would have to have maintained a good academic standing at their chosen higher education institution.

What surprised me was the fact that the high school graduate would only have to attend a Michigan High School for only one year.  That seems like quite a carrot to hold out there to attract parents who want someone else to help pay for their child’s college.

The second criteria to obtain this scholarship money from Michigan taxpayers is:

  • To get the scholarship, a student has to start in the fall after they graduate high school.

According to the MLive article Govenor Whitmer's proposed MI Opportunity scholarship would be funded, if the legislature agrees to fund it the following way:

In the first path, a student can go to a community college debt-free. They fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, FAFSA, and the state picks up the rest of the tab for tuition and mandatory fees. A student may still have to pay for other costs, like housing. They can take 60 credits for up to three years with the goal of either getting an associate degree, getting a technical certification or transferring to a four-year university.

The second path is only open to students with a family income of $80,000 or less. A student going to a four-year university directly out of high school would need to select a public or not-for profit university and apply for FAFSA. They would be eligible for $2,500 in tuition assistance for the first two years of attendance.

The second part of the criteria and funding that surprised me was the fact that students who chose to go to a 4 year public university would only receive $2,500 a year for 2 years for tuition assistance.

Let us look at the cost for tuition at Michigan State University.  According to MSU’s website the cost for tuition and fees at MSU for your freshman year is:

In-state freshmen:

Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $14,522

Yes every little bit helps but when she sells it as tuition assistance I can assume that most people thought it might be a bit more than just 17%, didn’t you?

The question who must answer first before we get to funding is should Michigan taxpayers pay for or help pay for all high school graduates college tuition.

If you answer yes to that then you must determine how we actually pay for such an expensive desire.

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