MichMash: Will Michigan offer free tuition to community college students?

The Michigan Reconnect program currently offers qualified Michigan residents 21 years of age or older free tuition at an in-district community college.

Macomb Community College

Macomb Community College

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer mentioned in her 2024 State of the State address the desire to give high schoolers in the state the opportunity to have two free years at a community college.

The Michigan Reconnect program currently offers Michigan residents 21 years of age or older who have not completed high school nor earned a GED or college degree, free tuition at an in-district community college.

MichMash host Cheyna Roth and Gongwer News Service’s Alethia Kasben sit down with the president of the Michigan Community College Association, Brandy Johnson, to discuss the potential of this bill passing with growing bipartisan support.

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In this episode:

  • Michigan students may have the opportunity to get free two-year tuition if they enroll in a Michigan community college.
  • The cost of two years of free tuition at a community college.
  • Housing for students.


Johnson shared that the “Community College Guarantee” tells students simply and plainly that they will not have tuition expenses if they pursue their first two years at a community college.

“Michigan is invested in you. You do your FASFA, you graduate high school, you enroll in college full time, we have your back,” said Johnson. The “Community College Guarantee,” proposed by Gov. Whitmer during her State of the State, will help deliver a clearer message to students that are struggling with the high cost of education.

There are additional expenses outside of tuition that students need support with. Johnson said that was another focus of the financial aid program.

“The truth is for our neediest students, having tuition free doesn’t get you very far if you don’t have enough money to pay for the gas in your car, for the textbooks, for the computer, for internet access,” elaborated Johnson. “We think this is a very smart design for a financial aid program to allow for extra support.”

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.