What do you think of when you think of Michigan? Do you think of the Great Lakes that surround the state? It would make sense if you do, considering the name of the state comes the Indian word Michigama which means “great or large lake.” Do you think of the sports teams in the state like the Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Tigers or the Detroit Lions?

What you should be thinking about is the state’s colleges and universities. There are plenty of great colleges to choose from whether you are looking for a four-year public university, four-year private college, community college or training program.

Along with those great colleges comes great in-state college financial aid programs. There are so many types of aid students can apply for like grants, scholarships, training programs and more. Some of the major programs include the Michigan Tuition Program the Michigan Competitive Scholarship and the Michigan Reconnect Program.

Michigan Tuition Grant

The Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG) is a need-based, renewable award given to students who attend private Michigan colleges and universities.

To be eligible for the MTG, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or approved refugee;
  • Be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year;
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding;
  • Posses a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Be an undergraduate student;
  • Plan to attend or currently be attending a Michigan degree-granting, non-profit, independent (private) college;
  • Be enrolled at least as a half-time student (take at least six credit hours per term);
  • Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1 every year;
  • Not be enrolled in a course of study leading to a degree in theology, divinity or religious education;
  • Not be jailed;
  • Not be in default of a federal student loan; and
  • Meet the school’s satisfactory academic progress policy in order to renew the grant every academic year.

To apply for the MTG, a student just needs to submit their FAFSA before March 1 every academic year.

If selected as a MTG recipient, a student can receive up to $2,800 per academic year. The award amount is dependent upon available and approved funding though. The award can be used on only tuition and mandatory fees. The individual schools are in charge of disbursing funds and determining who their eligible students are. In turn, the schools are only given $4.8 million in funds every year to hand out.

Michigan Competitive Scholarship

The Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) is an award that is both need-based and merit-based. The award can be given to students attending Michigan community colleges, public universities, and degree-granting non-profit independent (private) colleges .

To be eligible for the MCS, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or approved refugee;
  • Be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year;
  • Provide their social security number to MI Student Aid by their senior year of high school;
  • Score at least a 1200 on the SAT;
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent;
  • Be an undergraduate student pursuing their first degree;
  • Be enrolled at least as a half-time student (take at least six credit hours per term);
  • Demonstrate a financial need for funding;
  • Complete and submit FAFSA by March 1 every academic year;
  • Not be pursuing a religious-based degree;
  • Not be jailed; and
  • Not be in default of a federal student loan.

To renew the MCS, a student must maintain a minimum cumulative 2.00 GPA every year and meet their school’s satisfactory academic progress policy.

To apply for the MCS, a student just needs to complete and submit their FAFSA by the deadline every academic year.

A student can receive up to $1,000 per academic year from the MCS. The amount can change annually though based on available and approved funding. The award can be used to cover tuition and mandatory fees.

Michigan Reconnect Program

The Michigan Reconnect Program is a program where eligible students can receive free tuition at their local, in-district community college so they can earn an associate degree or a Pell-eligible skill certificate.

To be eligible for the free tuition program, a student must:

  • Be 25 years old or older when the student submits their application,
  • Have lived in Michigan for one year or longer,
  • Have a high school diploma or its equivalent, and
  • Not have completed a college degree yet—whether that is an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.

Selected applicants will then receive free, in-district tuition, mandatory fees and contact hours so they can pursue a Pell-eligible associate degree or a skill certificate at any of Michigan’s public community colleges.

Included in the Michigan Reconnect Program is the Michigan Skills Scholarship. There are only 1,000 scholarships given to students every year and they are given out on a first-come, first-served basis to those students who successfully enroll in an eligible training program and with an eligible training provider.

The Michigan Skills Scholarship is supposed to cover part of the tuition cost at a private training school or program if an eligible student is 25 years old or older. The scholarship award can be up to $1,500.

Eligible training provider criteria includes:

  • For-profit or non-profit private organizations in Michigan,
  • Institutions that provide occupational training but not four-year postsecondary institutions, and
  • Providers specifically listed out by the scholarship program.

Major Michigan Colleges and Universities

The Wolverine State has a plethora of postsecondary institutions for its residents to choose to attend within its 96,716 sq. miles of area. Some of the major colleges include:

  • Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant (public),
  • Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti (public),
  • Ferris State University in Big Rapids (public),
  • Grand Valley State University in Allendale (public),
  • Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie (public),
  • Michigan State University in East Lansing (public),
  • Northern Michigan University in Marquette (public),
  • University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (public),
  • Wayne State University in Detroit (public), and
  • Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo (public).

Michigan is the 11th largest state in area in the United States and it has so much to offer to its residents, especially when it comes to a college education and college financial aid programs.