Detroit Regional Chamber > Education & Talent > Michigan Reconnect Expands, Adults Ages 21 and Over Eligible for Tuition-Free Community College

Michigan Reconnect Expands, Adults Ages 21 and Over Eligible for Tuition-Free Community College

October 4, 2023

The Detroit Regional Chamber applauds Michigan Reconnect’s decision to temporarily lower the minimum age requirement to 21 years old, expanding the program to 350,000 Michiganders. The Chamber has been an early champion of Michigan Reconnect and lowering its age requirement, as it allows opportunity for those who were impacted by the pandemic and delayed enrolling in college to earn an associate degree.

RELATED: Learn about the Chamber’s Detroit Reconnect program and educational attainment goals.

To continue this progress, the Chamber recommends introducing Michigan Reconnect to students as the launching point of their educational journey. Further, to ensure students have a seamless pathway toward a bachelor’s degree, we must work to make coursework more transferable. There are some colleges that already offer easier transfer opportunities for students who have earned their associate degree – programs like Learn4ward with Henry Ford College, University of Michigan-Dearborn, and Wayne State University are examples of such partnerships designed to encourage students to earn their bachelor’s degree.

Read more about Michigan Reconnect’s expansion in the announcement below.

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer kicked off “Opening Week” for adults ages 21 to 24 who have not yet earned a college degree to enroll in Michigan Reconnect, a tuition-free community college scholarship program previously limited to those 25 and older.

The Michigan Reconnect program established in February 2021 is the largest such program in state history and its success – as well as its importance to Michigan’s long-term economic growth – has resulted in increased funding and reinvestment in each subsequent year, including $70 million for expansion.

Since Michigan Reconnect began less than three years ago, more than 132,000 Michiganders have applied to the program.

Including the younger age bracket has a limited shelf life. Applicants ages 21 to 24 must enroll no later than the fall semester 2024, to take advantage of the temporary expansion. Students in the 21-24 age bracket must also apply for Reconnect before the application closes on Nov. 15, 2024.

Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) said the 31 community and tribal colleges across the state are excited and ready to help connect the newly included age group to Michigan Reconnect.

The Reconnect age expansion brings thousands of students one step closer to earning a tuition-free or reduced tuition degree or certificate from a Michigan community or tribal college.

Students not already enrolled must complete these steps to take advantage of this limited-time scholarship:

1.       Apply for the Michigan Reconnect Scholarship at by Nov. 15, 2024.

2.       Apply to a Michigan community or tribal college.

3.       File a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

4.       Enroll in your program of study and begin coursework no later than the fall semester 2024.

Already enrolled students should contact their college’s Financial Aid Office for additional information on applying the Reconnect Scholarship to their tuition bill and filing a FAFSA.

Learn more about earning a degree or certificate tuition-free through Michigan Reconnect at

Sixty by 30 

The Governor has set earning a college degree or training certificate as a priority for her administration, with the state’s Sixty by 30 goal to have 60% of working-age adults with a post-high school degree or certificate by 2030. Reconnect is one of several programs aimed at achieving the goal by making college and professional training more accessible and affordable.