October 12, 2022
The ranks of adult learners attending NMC on the Michigan Reconnect scholarship more than doubled this fall, as the program that seeks to improve the state’s talent pipeline surpassed the $500,000 mark in funds awarded locally.
Meanwhile, a new state aid program, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship will make college more affordable for high school graduates attending NMC full-time next fall. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the legislation Tuesday.
“There’s never been a better time to improve your earning potential through higher education,” said NMC President Nick Nissley. “Together, Michigan Reconnect and Michigan Achievement mean NMC has dedicated state scholarships available for our two largest student pools: high school graduates and adult learners without a credential.”
NMC economic impact data shows that people with an associate degree earn $8,500 more per year than someone with only a high school diploma.
Launched last year, Michigan Reconnect is available to adults 25 and over who don’t already have a degree or certificate. This semester, 234 students took advantage of the free in-district tuition. Total NMC Reconnect participation stands at 400 students who have received $562,804. Reconnect followed a similar scholarship, Futures for Frontliners, for adult essential workers who stayed on the job through the shutdown phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 530 NMC students took advantage of Futures for Frontliners, receiving $1.3 million.
Now the Michigan Achievement Scholarship aims to provide similar financial incentive for high school students to attend college. Starting with the high school class of 2023, students will be eligible for up to $2,750/year in aid if they attend a community college full time (12 credits) and demonstrate financial need.
NMC Director of Financial Aid Linda Berlin estimates that up to 200 2023 high school graduates could qualify for Michigan Achievement, and NMC could award between $300,000–$400,000.
“This student financial aid program is a historic investment in the future of Michigan’s young people. The more we invest in our colleges and our students, the more prosperous our state will be,” said Brandy Johnson, president of the Michigan Community College Association.
In addition to those state funds, NMC also awards more than $1 million in institutional, donor-directed scholarships through the NMC Foundation.