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The Michigan Reconnect program is making its three-year anniversary.

Michigan Reconnect pays the community college tuition of anyone age 21 and up who has never earned a degree and wants to do so. It can be used to earn an associate degree or a certificate in a skilled trade.

Southwestern Michigan College Vice President of Student Experience Katie Hannah tells us it’s helped a lot of students enroll at SMC since 2021.

“We’ve had over 350 students awarded the Reconnect grant over the last three years, and we’ve had over 70 graduates from this program as well,” Hannah said. “So, students are coming, they’re enrolling, and they’re continuing and persisting.”

SMC Financial Aid Coordinator Brad Bundy says he speaks to students who have been able to go back to school thanks to Michigan Reconnect.

“It’s a life changing program for a lot of them,” Bundy said. “It allows these students who might not be eligible for federal financial aid to come and receive these funds and complete a degree program or take courses and help them further their careers. So, it really has been life changing for a lot of these students.”

Bundy says since the minimum age for the program was dropped to 21 from 25, he’s seen more young people enroll. However, most are still the non-traditional college student age of 25 and up.

Bundy says the application process for the grant is simple and you can find out more at Michigan.gov/Reconnect.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office says since it was started, Michigan Reconnect has helped put more than 150,000 Michiganders back in college.