Michigan breaks promises

As many as 200 MCCC students will not be able to attend college this fall because of a promise that was broken.
Students who were eligible for the Michigan Promise Scholarship received letters over the summer warning them that a promised $4,000 scholarship could be taken away. They were also informed to find another method of payment for future semesters.
“I feel terrible for the students who received Michigan Promise award letters from the state and were relying on the funds to help pay for college expenses,” Tracy Vogt, Director of Financial Aid here at MCCC, said.
“Many of our students have financial need and were counting on these funds. They have had to find funding from different sources, such as student loans, to cover the potential loss.”
Public Act 479 of 2006 signed into law by Governor Jennifer Granholm on December 21, 2006, provides up to $4,000 to high school graduates for successfully completing two years of postsecondary education beginning with the high school graduating class of 2007.
The scholarship awards high school graduates who participate and score well or above average on the annual Michigan Merit Exam during their junior year of high school. How well a student scores can determine if they can receive the money up front, after they successfully complete two years of postsecondary education, or receive the money to go towards any Michigan college or university.
Sadly, the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed a bill to cut the program in efforts to balance the state’s budget. The state is facing a $1.7 billion deficit and the program costs too much for the state to run any longer. The scholarship program costs $140 million for the 96,000 students attending Michigan colleges and universities.
The Senate, including state Sen. Randy Richardville (R- Monroe), voted in favor and supported the elimination because these awards are not based on financial need.
“I’m depressed on behalf of the students who earned this scholarship,” President David Nixon said to the Monroe Evening News this summer about the program being cut.
“Most of our students have a financial need and it puts the majority of the burden on students.”
To find out more information on the elimination of the Michigan Promise Scholarship, or to find out if you’re still eligible, you can visit www.michigan.gov/promise or call the State of Michigan at 888-447-2687.