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Lt. Governor Gilchrist celebrates Michigan Reconnect’s two-year anniversary, continues conversation on proposal to lower eligibility age from 25 to 21 

Tuition-free pathway to higher education and skills training highlighted at Delta College

LANSING, Mich. – On February 2, on the two-year anniversary of Michigan Reconnect, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II joined officials from Delta college to celebrate the ongoing success of the largest effort in state history to ensure that Michiganders who are 25 or older and do not have a college degree will have a tuition-free opportunity to earn an associate degree or skills certificate.

In her 2023 State of the State address, Governor Whitmer proposed lowering the age of qualified applicants from 25 to 21, which would open the tuition-free opportunity to roughly 400,000 more Michiganders.

“I am proud of every Michigander who has taken initiative to go to school in order to build a brighter future for themselves and their family,” said Gilchrist. “Higher education and skilled credentials open so many doors, and we want the number of eligible applicants to grow so that more Michiganders can secure rewarding careers, bigger paychecks and a higher quality of life.”

Since the Michigan Reconnect launch in February 2021, more than 114,000 state residents have applied for the program, with over 24,000 scholarship participants enrolling in college and over 2,000 receiving a degree or skills certificate.

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, including its three tribal colleges.

“With efforts like Michigan Reconnect, we are creating pathways to a college degree or skills certificate that otherwise may have felt out of reach for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Susan Corbin, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity director. “Each Reconnector has the opportunity to not just thrive, but to also take advantage and grow in the high-skill and high-wage career opportunities that are in demand throughout our state.”

This tour stop at Delta College also highlighted the additional support and services Reconnect students receive to succeed during their degree or certificate journey.

“We are pleased to have over 2,300 students qualify for either the Futures for Frontliners or Michigan Reconnect program this academic year,” said Delta College President Dr. Mike Gavin.

“Having Lt. Governor Gilchrist visit our campus allowed us to highlight some of our programs, as well as some Frontliner and Reconnect students who are pursuing a college degree to expand their future employment options,” Gavin added. “We are grateful to partner with the state of Michigan to further promote the need for broader career and technical education options, and to make those options as affordable as possible for adult residents in the Great Lakes Bay Region.”

In addition to tuition assistance, Reconnect students may be eligible for wraparound services to assist in removing barriers and promoting persistence and program completion, such as costs of transportation, books, housing, broadband, childcare and food.

More information about MI Reconnect and how to get started is available at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.


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