LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Michigan Reconnect, a scholarship program that pays people to attend community colleges, is celebrating their one-year anniversary today.

The program is part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Sixty by 30 goal, which strives to increase the percentage of adults in the state with a postsecondary degree or credential by 2030. 

To be a part of Michigan Reconnect, you must be 25-years-old when you apply, have lived in Michigan for a year or more, have a high school diploma or an equivalent, and have not yet completed a college degree.

Whitmer announced today that 91,000 Michiganders are now on a tuition-free pathway to acquire degrees, and gain experience that can eventually help create careers.

Since 2019, when the Sixty by 30 goal was put into action, the percentage of working-age adults with a certificate, associate degree or higher has increased from 45% to 49%.

“I want to congratulate all of the hardworking Michiganders who took the first step toward a brighter future, all while balancing so many other responsibilities. Whether it’s a registered apprenticeship, an industry-recognized certification, a technical certificate, an associate degree, a bachelor’s degree or beyond, higher education or skills training opens so many doors. We have an ambitious but attainable goal to reach 60% of working-age adults with a postsecondary credential by 2030. Programs like Reconnect help us put Michiganders first and continue growing our economy.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

There are currently more than 12,000 scholarship participants enrolled in a degree or skills certificate program.   

Last year, Whitmer and legislative leaders revealed a budget agreement to fully fund the Michigan Reconnect from 2021-2022. 

Michigan Reconnect pays the cost of in-district tuition for adults who choose to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at any of Michigan’s public community colleges.

“Michigan’s community colleges work tirelessly every day to change lives of students and make the communities they serve better places to live, learn, and work. Our member institutions are honored to partner in the state’s Sixty by 30 initiative because there’s nothing more important than equipping people with the training and credentials that they need to achieve prosperity.”  

Michigan Community College Association President Brandy Johnson