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New Michigan Reconnect scholarship removes cost as a barrier to a GRCC education for students 25 and older

The Michigan Reconnect scholarship removes cost as a barrier to a Grand Rapids Community College education, providing opportunities for life-changing degrees or occupational certificates for residents age 25 and older.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today revealed details of the program, which covers the cost of tuition for eligible students living within the boundaries of the Kent Intermediate School District. Others would pay the difference between the resident and non-resident rate tuition – a substantial savings.

 Applications are now available at Michigan.gov/reconnect.

“Many of students and others in our community are experiencing financial difficulties during the pandemic. Reconnect will remove tuition as an obstacle to getting a quality GRCC education,” President Bill Pink said.

“We are committed to other supports to help students take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity, from academic assistance to schedules accommodating home and work responsibilities. We are a partner in our students’ success. No one should feel they are taking these steps alone.”

Pink said the state scholarship is ideal for people who needed to put their education on hold, or who were unable to start. An associate degree or career-focused certificate can help students move ahead in their work or gain new jobs.

The program is part of Whitmer’s goal of having 60 percent of working-age Michiganders earning a college degree or certificate by 2030.

It’s a last-dollar scholarship, meaning applicants must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to determine their federal Pell grant eligibility.  Financial Aid experts can help with questions at (616) 234-4030.

The scholarship is for people age 25 and older who have not previously earned a college degree. Applicants must have lived in the state for a year or more, have a high school diploma or GED and not be in default on a federal student loan.

Currently enrolled students are eligible. 

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss said the Reconnect program can make Grand Rapids and West Michigan as a whole stronger.

“The Reconnect program provides a valuable pathway at GRCC for individuals in our community and is an incredible opportunity for economic mobility as well as filling the skills gap,” Bliss said.

GRCC has created personalized ways to connect with people interested in the Reconnect program, with specialists available via email at reconnect@grcc.edu, phone at (616) 234-3366 and by text at (616) 504-6178. Additional information is available at grcc.edu/reconnect.

The college also has scheduled Information sessions to learn about how to take advantage of the program and enroll in GRCC.

English sessions are planned for:

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

Spanish sessions are planned for:

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

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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