Last month, Governor Jennifer Granholm said she wants to restore the Michigan Promise Scholarship program for the budget starting Oct. 1.
The new ‘Promise’ would only cover college graduates who work in Michigan, at least part-time, for a year after completing their degree.
The Michigan Promise Scholarship was eliminated this year because of the state’s budget problems. Thousands of college students were outraged by the elimination of the Promise. The scholarship was what students counted on to pay this year’s tuition bills.
If the new ‘Promise’ is passed by the Legislature, it would cover the same students and future qualifiers only after they graduate and work in Michigan for a year. The money would come as a $4,000 refundable income tax credit.
The new plan isn’t going to help students who need the money now and had already qualified for it by doing well on standardized tests in high school.
“I just love how the name is the ‘promise scholarship’ when the people it was ‘promised’ to aren’t getting it,” said MCCC student Marissa Manor.
“How hypocritical. You shouldn’t have to re-qualify to get something we earned.”
MCCC student Nicholas Russell agreed.
“But what about the hundreds of past graduates that will not receive it? I could sure use $4,000 right now. I’ve worked the last 5 years for companies that are based in Michigan.”
Granholm hopes this new plan will cost the state less. It would cost an estimated $6 million for the next fiscal year, compared to the $120 million tab the program would have had this fiscal year. The programs cost would rise in subsequent years, but by then the state’s economy could rebound and affordability might not be such a big issue.
Granholm proposed this new bill because she wants to boost the number of college graduates who live in Michigan. She thinks that states with high percentages of degree holders often are in the best shape.