Associate degrees

New State Program to Fund Tuition for Associate’s Degrees and Skills Certificates

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The state is launching a $30 million program to boost Michigan’s workforce and give people the opportunity to advance their careers.

It’s called the Michigan Reconnect program, and it could help more than 4 million Michiganders who don’t yet have a college degree earn an associate’s degree or skills certificate.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and lawmakers from both parties announced the start of the program on Tuesday.

“Whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican, we all agree on the importance of making sure every Michigander has a path to a well-paying job here in our state,” Whitmer said. “Almost all business owners, organized labor leaders, even high school principals can agree that Michigan needs to take innovative steps like these to develop a more skilled workforce. It’s not only smart to do for our state’s economy, but the right thing to do to create pathways for Michigan workers; pathways to hope and fairness and to stronger families and stronger communities across our state.

The program will cover costs—after state and federal assistance—for the community college in the recipient’s district and Scholarships for 70 private training schools for trades in industry, construction, IT, health and business management. You can apply online at

Grand Rapids Community College President Bill Pink said in a statement Tuesday that the program is a good start for people who have had to put off their studies.

“Many students and other members of our community are struggling financially during the pandemic. Reconnect will eliminate tuition fees as a financial challenge or barrier to obtaining a quality GRCC education,” said Pink. “We are committed to providing other supports to help students take advantage of this amazing opportunity, from academic help to flexible hours for family and work responsibilities. We are partners in the success of our students. No one should feel like they are taking these steps alone.

GRCC has set up a web page,; e-mail address, [email protected]; a phone number, 616.234.3366, and an SMS option, 616.504.6178; inform people about the program.

He has also set up information sessions that you can register online:


  • Friday, February 5, at noon.
  • Tuesday, February 16 at 9 a.m.
  • Monday March 8, at 6 p.m.


  • Thursday, February 11, at noon.
  • Tuesday, March 2 at 9 a.m.
  • Wednesday March 24 at 6 p.m.

The approximately 20,000 people who applied but were not eligible for Whitmer’s A future for frontliners program for COVID-19 essential workers will automatically be eligible for Michigan Reconnect.

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