Dreaming of a college education without the burden of tuition fees? Look no further because Michigan offers a treasure trove of opportunities for students seeking free colleges in the Great Lakes State. In this blog post, we'll take you on a journey through the land of the Wolverines, where a range of free college programs can turn your college dreams into reality.
Michigan has several top colleges to choose from. The state's top school, the University of Michigan, is ranked #25 while Michigan State is ranked #77 among national universities in the US, according to US News and World Report. So whether you're a recent high school grad or a transfer student, you have great options.
Now, let's take a look at the amazing world of free colleges in Michigan. We'll explain who can qualify and share some helpful links for more information. Just a heads up, all of these programs require you to be a resident of Michigan.
1. Michigan State University - Spartan Advantage
The Spartan Advantage at MSU covers full tuition costs for in-state students who come from families with an annual income of $65,000 or less. This program aims to reduce the financial barriers that often deter students from going to college.
Eligibility: To qualify for The Spartan Advantage, students must be Michigan residents, meet specific income requirements (typically $65,000 or less for their family's annual income), and be admitted to Michigan State University.
To learn more: https://finaid.msu.edu/scholarships/SPAD
2. Detroit Promise
The Detroit Promise offers free college tuition to Detroit residents, covering tuition and fees at many community colleges and universities in Michigan. This program aims to increase access to higher education for everyone in Detroit.
This program is not offered at one specific college. Instead Detroit Promise provides an opportunity for Michigan residents to pursue trade, two-year, and four-year programs at 26 colleges in the state, without having to pay for tuition.
Eligibility: To qualify for this opportunity, students need to have finished high school in Detroit or obtained a GED within the city. They also need to meet the residency and GPA requirements.
To learn more: https://detroitpromise.com/
Eastern Michigan University (EMU) provides the Eastern Tuition Advantage scholarship, which covers the remaining tuition and fees after federal and state aid for eligible students. This program helps make EMU more affordable for Michigan residents.
Eligibility: If you live in Michigan and want to go to EMU as a new student or if you're transferring, you can get this scholarship if you have a GPA of at least 3.0. Also, your family's yearly income should be less than $60,000.
For more information: https://www.emich.edu/eastern-tuition-advantage/index.php
4. Grand Valley State University - Grand Valley Pledge
Grand Valley State University gives many students a chance to attend college free of charge through the Grand Valley Pledge.
According to Grand Valley President, Philomena V. Mantella: "It is another way of assuring that we create opportunity and advance equity in the communities in which we live and teach, as well as inspire a broader movement of making higher education accessible to all."
Eligibility: If you're a new student or transferring to a college in Michigan and you live here, you can benefit from this program. You need to be enrolled full time and your family's income can't be more than $50,000. Also, your family's assets can't exceed $50,000.
To learn more: https://www.gvsu.edu/gvpledge/
5. Kalamazoo Promise
The Kalamazoo Promise is a great program that offers free college in Michigan. It started in 2015 for kids who finish high school in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This program pays for up to all of the tuition and required fees at Michigan's public colleges and universities.
You can use The Promise at more than 60 places, including regular colleges that last 4 years, colleges that last 2 years, and job training programs. Some of the colleges include University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University.
Eligibility: For students to be eligible, they must have gone to Kalamazoo Public Schools (KPS) starting in kindergarten until 12th grade. The amount the student receives depend on how long the student has been at KPS.
To learn more: https://www.kalamazoopromise.com/
6. Lake Michigan College - Tuition-Free Promise
Lake Michigan College, located in Benton Harbor, Michigan, offers a tuition-free promise program for high school students in its service area. This program covers tuition and fees for students who qualify.
Eligibility: To be able to participate, you should live within the district of Lake Michigan College. Also, you need to meet some academic requirements and have a family income of less than $75,000.
7. Michigan Reconnect
Free college in Michigan is getting better. Michiganders who are 21 years and older can now earn an associate degree or certificate for free through Michigan Reconnect. This program helps adults learn new skills and move up in their careers.
The current minimum age to benefit from this program is 24 years old. However, the governor just signed a budget to expand the Michigan Reconnect program to include adults between the ages of 21 and 24 years old.
Eligibility: If you want to apply, you need to be a resident of Michigan, have finished high school or got a GED, and not have a college degree yet. Make sure to keep a GPA of at least 2.0. You have to be at least 24 years old, but this is changing (by the end of 2023).
To learn more: https://www.michigan.gov/reconnect
8. Saginaw Valley State University - Cardinal Commitment
Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) offers the Cardinal Commitment program, which ensures that eligible students pay no tuition costs after considering federal and state aid. This scholarship program is open to all Michigan residents.
Eligibility: Admitted freshment who are Michigan residents may qualify. if you are a Michigan resident and is admitted to SVSU as a freshman, And, you must be from households with adjusted gross income of $70,000 or less.
To learn more: https://www.svsu.edu/cardinalcommitment/
9. Northern Michigan University - Tuition Advantage
Northern Michigan University (NMU) offers a tuition-free guarantee to some students admitted to the university. The NMU Tuition Advantage is a last-dollar scholarship so it will cover costs not covered by the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, Pell Grant, and other NMU grants and scholarships. Eligible students will end up paying zero for tuition.
Eligibility: To qualify, students must be admitted to the university and qualify for a Pell Grant and the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. You must take at least 12 credits per semester.
To learn more: https://bit.ly/45Lmomp
10. Muskegon Community College - Muskegon Area Promise
Muskegon Community College (MCC) offers the Muskegon Area Promise, which offers free tuition to high school students living in Muskegon County. This program allows students to pursue an associate or certificate program tuition free.
Eligibility: If you live in Muskegon County, go to a Muskegon County high school, and have a certain GPA, you can get this free tuition program. You have four years after high school to use it.
To learn more: https://www.muskegonisd.org/ctc-home/career-development/promise/
11. University of Michigan Dearborn - Go Blue Guarantee
If you qualify, you might be able to attend the University of Michigan Dearborn for free. The Go Blue Guarantee at the university is a financial aid program designed to make attending college more affordable for Michigan residents with family incomes below a certain amount. It covers the full cost of tuition and mandatory fees.
Eligibility: To be eligible for the Go Blue Guarantee at UM-Dearborn, students must be Michigan residents, have a family income of $65,000 or less, and be admitted as first-time, full-time freshmen. Other eligibility requirements may apply.
To learn more: https://umdearborn.edu/go-blue-guarantee
12. University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Go Blue Guarantee
Free college in Michigan extends to the states's flagship university and home of the Wolverines. The University of Michigan offers the Go Blue Guarantee which provides free tuition to in-state students with family incomes of up to $65,000.
This Go Blue Guarantee aims to ensure that talented Michigan students can attend one of the nation's top public universities without the burden of tuition costs. University of Michigan is one of the top 25 national universities in the country.
Eligibility: To qualify for the Go Blue Guarantee at UM-Ann Arbor, you must be a Michigan resident, have a family income of $65,000 or less, and be admitted as first-time, full-time undergraduates. Additional requirements may apply.
For more information: https://goblueguarantee.umich.edu/
13. University of Michigan Flint - Go Blue Guarantee
Students can also access the The Go Blue Guarantee at the University of Michigan Flint. Similar to UM Ann Arbor and UM Dearborn, this program covers tuition and fees for students who live in Michigan, making an education at UM-Flint more affordable.
Eligibility: If you want the Go Blue Guarantee at UM-Flint, you need to live in Michigan, have a family income under $65,000, and be accepted as a first-time, full-time student.
To learn more: https://www.umflint.edu/financialaid/goblueguarantee
14. Wayne State University - Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge
Wayne State University, located in Detroit, offers the Heart of Detroit Tuition Pledge, which covers tuition and fees for students who graduate from a Detroit high school or complete their GED within the city.
Eligibility: To qualify, you should be a Michigan resident, show that you require financial assistance, and meet certain academic criteria. Additionally, you must graduate from one of the recognized high schools in Detroit.
To learn more: https://wayne.edu/financial-aid/types/pledge
15. University of Michigan Ann Arbor - The Wolverine Pathways
Here is yet another opportunity to attend the University of Michigan tuition-free (in addition to the Go Blue Guarantee). Students who complete The Wolverine Pathways can get a full-tuition scholarship. Students who are part of this program receive college prep and guidance to prepare for college.
Eligibility: If you're in high school and live in Detroit, Southfield Public, Ypsilanti Community school districts, or the UM Ann Arbor's partner schools in Grand Rapids, you could qualify. Students who complete the Wolverine Pathway program and get accepted to the University of Michigan, attend the university tuition-free.
To learn more: https://wolverinepathways.umich.edu/about-the-program/
Here in Michigan, there are programs and scholarships that can help you pursue higher education without taking on a lot of student loan debt. Whether you've just graduated from high school, are thinking about changing colleges, or want to start a new career, these programs can be a big help.
Remember, most of these programs have an income, GPA, and residency requirement, so don't forget to check out the program websites for the latest info and application details.
Here's to building a bright future!