Michigan Reconnect offers eligible adults an opportunity to earn a tuition-free degree
Mid Michigan College will be fully participating in the Michigan Reconnect program recently unveiled by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in an effort to help address a widening skills gap within the state’s workforce.
The new program will cover in-district tuition and some fees for eligible adults at Mid Michigan College who want to pursue an associate or technical degree.
In order to be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, adults must be between the ages of 25 and 64, have a high school diploma or equivalent, have been a Michigan resident for one year, and have not completed a college degree.
Students must apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Once other aid is applied, Michigan Reconnect pays the remaining balance of in-district tuition and mandatory fees. Students not living in a community college district will pay the difference between in-district and out-district tuition, but would still receive a significant reduction in cost.
Hundreds of leading Michigan business, community, and legislative leaders say Reconnect is exactly what state employers need to alleviate the shortage of highly skilled and capable workers.
“We believe Michigan Reconnect will not only help individuals and families pursue their goals, but it will also help build a strong economy that needs a talented and modern workforce to compete for the jobs of the future,” said Matt Miller, Vice President of Student Services at Mid.
As of 2019, only 42% of Michigan’s working-age residents had an associate degree or higher.
Michiganders without a college degree or training credential often face economic challenges. A 2020 analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges reports that full-time employees with an associate degree earn about $10,000 more per year than those with a high school diploma, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Michigan employers’ ability to find highly skilled employees is more difficult than ever and is cited as a top concern in the most recent Michigan Future Business Index Report. Michigan Reconnect will help address the dual challenges of the state’s widening talent gap and aging workforce.
“We encourage area residents, who want to secure their future by pursuing a satisfying, in-demand career, to take advantage of what Michigan Reconnect is offering,” Miller said.