Glen Oaks Community College

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There has never been a better time to go to college

by Dr. David H. Devier, Glen Oaks President
In the state of Michigan in 2023, the opportunity to attend college is better now than any other time in history. This is due to several financial aid programs that have been enacted by both the federal government and the state of Michigan. At the federal level, the Pell Grant program has recently been expanded, and the amounts available have increased. The main pieces of information concerning the Pell program are:

  • A federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.
  • The maximum federal Pell Grant award is $6,895 for the 2022–23 award year (July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023).
  • The amount depends on financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
  • Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.
  • To apply, complete the FASFA@ https://studentaid.gov/h/apply-for-aid/fafsa

The state of Michigan has three tuition assistance programs available to students depending on their age, financial history, and year of high school graduation. The first of these is the TIP program.

  • The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP) encourages eligible Medicaid recipients to complete high school by providing tuition assistance during an eligible student’s qualifying certificate or associate degree program and during the student’s bachelor’s degree program.
  • Only students who were identified by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) as having met the Michigan Medicaid eligibility requirement may be considered for TIP.
  • MDHHS only considers students who had a qualifying form of Medicaid for 24 months within a 36-month period between age nine and high school completion as having met the Medicaid eligibility requirement.

The second program is Michigan Reconnect.

  • Free tuition at your in-district community college to earn an associate degree or Pell-eligible skill certificate if you’re 25+.

The third MI program for student assistance is the new Achievement Scholarship.

  • Students who graduate from high school in Michigan with a diploma or certificate of completion or who achieve a high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after will be eligible for more financial aid from the state of Michigan: 
  • Up to $2,000 if they attend an eligible training provider in Michigan, per year, up to two years
  • Up to $2,750 if they attend a Michigan community college, per year, up to three years
  • Up to $4,000 if they attend a Michigan private college or university, per year, up to five years
  • Up to $5,500 if they attend a Michigan public university, per year, up to five years

There will be informational webinars throughout the next three months, and the public may register at: https://www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/programs/michigan-achievement-scholarship/informational-session.

St. Joseph County has a significant number of individuals of working age who have some college but have not completed a degree or certificate. Glen Oaks stands ready to help anyone reach their educational goals, including associate degrees, technical certificates, and transfer pathways to four-year institutions. For additional information concerning the various financial aid programs and GOCC offerings, please contact the admissions office via the Glen Oaks website at: glenoaks.edu.