Democrats in the Michigan Senate are creating legislation that would give each of the state’s high school graduates college grants to help pay for tuition costs at Michigan’s public universities and community colleges. The state’s plan would give nearly $9,500 per year to each student. While the funding for these grants has yet to be clearly laid out, early reports indicate that state Democrats have several ideas in the works including closing tax loopholes, ending tax credits, and collecting sales tax from out-of-state retailers.
This recent college grant proposal is an effort to reinvest in the public education after the state recently cut public education funding while simultaneously raising tuition. Recent protests at area colleges such as the University of Michigan about these rising tuition costs have helped create momentum for state legislators to pass a plan that will help address the issue of rising higher education costs. U-M’s president, Mary Sue Coleman, recently appealed to President Obama, saying, “we absolutely must find ways to provide a college education at a cost that is sustainable.”
Lawmakers feel that addressing the issue of rising tuition rates and making college more affordable for students around the state, businesses would be more likely to come to or continue operating in Michigan. While the Democrats will fight hard to pass this proposal, many experts expect a fierce fight from the Republican-controlled state legislature. This may delay the process of creating larger college grants for students in the state of Michigan, but at least lawmakers are starting to address the issue of rising college tuition rates and unaffordable higher educations. Hopefully something will be passed soon as The Daily recently estimated college costs for students at public colleges in the state of Michigan to reach $80,000 by 2034.