Michigan Gov. Whitmer signs bipartisan bill giving thousands to incoming college students

On Tuesday, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bipartisan bill into law that will make college more affordable for students by providing thousands of dollars.

Whitmer signed the MI New Economy bill that will make thousands of dollars available to Michigan high school graduates planning to further their education.

"The MI new Economy vision focuses on fundamentals; with goals to lift 100,000 families out of work in poverty," Whitmer said.

The governor signed the bill at Lawrence Technical Institute in Southfield

Under the MI New Economy, students can receive a scholarship to achieve the 60 by '30 goal: 60% of those over 25 years of age to earn a post-secondary degree or skill by 2030.

"This scholarship is going to apply to all of the graduates from our high schools starting next year.  So this will open up doors on financial barriers real for so many people,  and this will help us level that barrier so more people can pursue skills," Whitmer said.

Starting in 2023, qualifying high school graduates can get up to $2,750 for community college, $4,000 for private college, or $5,500 for a public university.

LTI's Dean of Engineering Nabil Grace said this scholarship will make college much more affordable.

"What they need is some scholarship to cover their expenses, and they can go forward," Grace said. 

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said this will make students across the state more competitive in getting jobs after graduation.

"We know that we are not going to be competitive in the state or in a region in Oakland County if we don't get our kids skills beyond high school," Coulter said.

The bill also includes low or no-cost childcare for 150,000 families, builds 75,000 new or rehabilitated housing units, and ensures access to high-speed internet for all within five years.

The bill had support from both Republicans and Democrats in Michigan. Senate Appropriations Chair Sen. Jim Stamos (R-Midland) said this is a commitment to residents of Michigan. 

"I think the biggest return on investment is our kids and our Michigan families," Stamos said.

Learn more about the MI New Economy here.