Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to ask lawmakers to make community college free for all high school graduates

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to urge state lawmakers to pass legislation that would provide free community college tuition for all high school graduates during her sixth State of the State speech on Wednesday.

Whitmer also prioritized community college access in her annual address last year. State lawmakers responded by temporarily lowering the minimum age for free tuition from 25 to 21 years old. The Democratic governor now wants to expand the program by removing all age requirements for free community college, according to details of her plan provided to The Associated Press by Whitmer’s office.

Whitmer’s administration created the Michigan Reconnect program in 2021, aiming to increase the percentage of the state’s workforce with a postsecondary degree or training from 50.5% to 60% by 2030. It made Michigan residents 25 years and older eligible for free community college tuition.

By the end of the 2023 academic year, over 32,400 students had enrolled in the program since its launch and at least 4,400 have earned a degree or certificate, according to the governor’s office.

EUP News Staff

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