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Lake Michigan College partners with state for Reconnect, a new tuition-free scholarship for adults
Lake Michigan College is partnering with the state for the new Michigan Reconnect scholarship program unveiled Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
In an effort to help address a widening skills gap within the state’s workforce, the scholarship offers Michiganders age 25 or older free tuition to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate. Current and former LMC students who meet eligibility requirements and haven't yet completed their degree also can apply for this free-tuition scholarship opportunity.
“This scholarship is a tremendous opportunity for anyone who has dreamed of a college education or a chance at a better job,” LMC President Trevor A. Kubatzke said. “It also comes at a time when employers are seeking to fill a need for highly skilled workers. Michigan Reconnect will not only help individuals and families pursue their dreams, but it will also help our region build a modern workforce for the future.”
Michigan employers’ ability to find highly skilled employees is a top concern. As of 2019, only 42% of Michigan’s working-age residents had an associate degree or higher. Michiganders without a college degree or training credential often face economic challenges. A 2020 analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges reports the median earnings of full-time employees with a high school degree is $40,510 annually, while those with an associate degree make $50,079 per year, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
Michigan Reconnect will help pay the costs of in-district tuition, mandatory fees and contact hours for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate or technical degree. In order to be eligible, applicants must:
- Be age 25 or older
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent
- Be a Michigan resident for at least one year
- Not have completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)
Michigan Reconnect pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied, up to the in-district price for all students. Scholarship applications are now being accepted.
For more information, including how to apply, visit www.lakemichigancollege.edu/reconnect.