The following priorities from MCAN include ways that the Michigan legislature can help address the pandemic college enrollment crisis, build statewide college access and success capacity, and increase the number of students entering the postsecondary pipeline.
SUPPORT MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS INFRASTRUCTURE
- Maintain and increase MCAN’s annual appropriation from $3 million to $5 million so that MCAN can best maximize the State of Michigan’s historic investments in PK-20 education through an expanded scope of work that includes adult learners, college completion, and workforce and employer engagement.
- Increase investment in Michigan’s colleges and universities by no less than 4% each (+$64 million for public universities and +$14 million for community colleges.)
- Invest in K-12 education to ensure robust high school graduation and postsecondary success through an increase to the foundation allowance of 5% bringing the per pupil allocation to $9,608.
MAKE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE
- Allocate the base funding and necessary annual budget increase to ensure full implementation of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship—$250 million plus $50 million in FY24 to serve additional eligible students in this new, game-changing scholarship.
- Maintain the previously budgeted $55 million for Michigan Reconnect and expand the program by reducing the age of eligibility from 25 to 21.
- Create and fund a scholarship to support students whose higher education was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2022, including those who graduated from high school during that time and those who stopped out of college.
- Appropriate $15 million in funding to incentivize FAFSA completion for students and schools.
INCREASE EARLY COLLEGE CREDIT
- Increase high school student participation in all forms of early college credit programs (Early/Middle College, dual enrollment, International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, articulated Career and Technical Education credit, and the College-Level Examination Program), especially among low-income students, first-generation college-going students, students with disabilities, and students of color.
- Reintroduce legislation to create the Student Postsecondary Preparedness Fund, which includes up to $100 per student to remove financial barriers associated with earning early credit.
- Financially and by policy incentivize colleges to create Credit for Prior Learning, College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), and other systems to acknowledge competencies already acquired by students. These programs save students money and reduce time for completion.
UPDATE AND ALIGN FINANCIAL AID BOILERPLATE LANGUAGE
- Eliminate the state’s priority deadline for FAFSA completion. Package and distribute financial aid in an ongoing manner until the appropriated dollars are completely expended.
- Ensure each financial aid program pays for all mandatory institutional fees including all course fees, lab fees and anything required by a student’s program of study in order to graduate.
- Require all financial aid programs to pay actual tuition and fee costs. Eliminate using the lowest resident rate, Michigan Reconnect’s limitation on paying out-of-district rates and paying for contact hours vs. clock hours.
- Require public reporting on all financial aid programs outlining at least the number of students served and their demographics, funds expended and funds provided by higher education institution.
- Set a universal financial aid packaging guidance for all state financial aid programs.