December 21, 2006
$4,000 scholarship makes college more affordable for Michigan students
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation creating the Michigan Promise scholarship, a cornerstone of her comprehensive economic plan. Every student in Michigan, beginning with this year's high school seniors, will now be eligible for a $4,000 scholarship. Granholm signed the legislation at E.A. Johnson High School in Mt. Morris where she talked with students about this new opportunity. Earlier in the week, Granholm met with students in Lansing and Ferndale. Tomorrow, she will visit Grand Rapids.
"The Michigan Promise scholarship opens the doors of education to every student in Michigan," said Granholm. "A $4,000 scholarship makes earning a college degree or technical certification a real possibility for every student. It's an amazing opportunity for our students and a critical necessity for our economy."
Making college more affordable was a key recommendation of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth chaired by Lieutenant Governor John D. Cherry, Jr. The commission, which was charged with identifying strategies to double the number of college graduates in Michigan in the next decade, recommended that the state create a "new compact with its residents: an expectation that all students will achieve a post-secondary degree or credential coupled with a guarantee from the state of financial support linked to the achievement of that goal."
The Michigan Promise was first proposed by Governor Granholm in her 2005 State of the State address. Starting with the Class of 2007, every student who attends college or technical training can earn a $4,000 scholarship - $1,500 more than the current Merit Award program. Students can attend any two- or four-year school in Michigan, public or private, or a wide array of technical training programs.
Students who score well on the high school assessment will receive $1,000 during their freshman and sophomore years and earn the remaining $2,000 after successfully completing two years of post-secondary education. Students who do not receive qualifying scores on the high school assessment can earn the entire $4,000 scholarship by successfully completing two years of post-secondary education. Students must maintain a 2.5 grade point average in their post-secondary institution to earn a Michigan Promise scholarship when they reach that two-year point.
The governor called the Michigan Promise scholarship a critical step for Michigan's economy, as the states with the highest number of college graduates have the lowest unemployment rates and the fastest-growing economies. Coupled with the rigorous high school curriculum standards Granholm fought for and signed into law, the Michigan Promise scholarship will position Michigan as the state that will lead the nation in educational achievement and economic growth.
"The evidence is clear: the states with the highest education levels have the most thriving economies and lowest unemployment rates," said Granholm.
The bills signed today were Senate Bill 1335, sponsored by Senator Deborah Cherry (D-Burton), and House Bill 6302, sponsored by Representative Tupac Hunter (D-Detroit).