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3 metro Detroit colleges to forgive debt for returning students to complete degree

April 30, 2019

Detroit Free Press

David Jesse

[…]

In metro Detroit alone, about 693,000 adults attended some college but didn’t graduate. Some 13,000 of those went to Wayne State, while 11,600 went to Henry Ford and another 8,300 attended Oakland.

Records show that 25% of students at the three schools — 24,016 students — who stopped going left with some sort of financial hold on their accounts.

The plans are being promoted by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

“It’s a great way to ease the path back into college,” said Sandy Baruah, president and CEO of the chamber. “If we create a lot of jobs, but don’t have local people who can take those jobs, it’s not as good for the region.”

The plan also meshes with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s overall plan to increase college attainment across the state, said Brandy Johnson, adviser, postsecondary education and workforce development to Whitmer.

“It sends the message that we need the talent and are willing to do what we can to help,” she said. “It’s really signaling to the population that we want them to get these” degrees and credentials.

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