Today, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that as of late July, more than 100,000 Michiganders are on their way to a tuition-free degree or skills certificate through the Michigan Reconnect program.
Michigan Reconnect pays the cost of in-district tuition for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at any of Michigan’s public community colleges.
Created with vast bipartisan support, Michigan Reconnect ensures that Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree have an opportunity to earn an associate degree or certificate with free or deeply discounted tuition. Since its February 2021 launch, approximately 18,000 participants have returned to school to finish their degree or enrolled for the first time. Over 500 have already graduated with an associate degree or skills certificate.
“More Michiganders are within reach of a college degree or skills certificate thanks to efforts like Michigan Reconnect,” said Susan Corbin, director of Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “We are creating new opportunities for our workers to land high-paying jobs in fulfilling careers and for our Michigan businesses to fill critical talent needs so they can continue to compete, grow and innovate.”
Last month, the governor announced a $6 million bipartisan investment to help enrollees overcome other major barriers, including the cost of books, childcare, food, internet access, and transportation.
The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees operates Detroit Reconnect, a local iteration of the statewide program. The state also adopted the Chamber’s goal to increase postsecondary attainment to 60% and reduce the racial equity gap by half by 2030.