GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A new state scholarship will provide thousands of dollars for tuition, and many high school students are expected to qualify.

The Michigan Achievement Scholarship was approved by the state Legislature and signed by the governor last month. It can be used at universities or community colleges within the state.

Grand Rapids Community College spokesperson Dave Murray said the funding will cover the majority of tuition each year for up to three years.

The college said students graduating high school in 2023 can apply.

The scholarship is expected to give more people a bachelor’s degree, associate degree or certification in a trade. 

“It’s a wonderful opportunity. We know so many students struggled during the pandemic and income is a challenge for them and we want to remove all barriers to achieving an education that can change their lives,” Murray said.

The qualifications requirements are still being worked out, but GRCC said most of its future students will qualify and receive up to $2,750 per year for tuition.

“Here at Grand Rapids Community College, our tuition is under $4,000 a year. It’s $3,900 and that’s for tuition and mandatory fees for most students,” Murray said.

Students who want to attend a private college can receive $4,000 a year or $5,500 if they go to a public university for up to five years.  

Those who qualify and have an Expected Family Contribution under $25,000 would be able to use this in addition to Pell Grants and other scholarships.

“We want to raise awareness of this and all the opportunities here at Grand Rapids Community College. We don’t want people to think this is out of reach for them,” Murray said.  

GRCC said interested high school students should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Financial Aid and create an account on the state’s website scholarship page, which went live this week.

If you do not meet the criteria, there are other state programs for current students and people who want to return to school.

“There is so many opportunities here such as the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, but also the Grand Rapids Promise Zone for some residents, Michigan Reconnect is available for many people 25 and older, (and) we have scholarships here on campus through our Grand Rapids Community College Foundation,” Murray said.