Program: Grants and financial Aid

Appropriation:

Federal Funds:

$5,500,000

Special Revenue Funds:

$123,573,850

GF/GP:

$124,525,416

Total:

$253,599,266[13]

Program Description:

This appropriation funds the Grants and Financial Aid Division. The Division conducts, among others, the following programs — each of which should be eliminated:

  • The Tuition Grant Program, which awards grants to financially needy students attending private, independent colleges in Michigan.

  • The Tuition Incentive Program (TIP), which reimburses tuition and mandatory fees to community colleges, public universities, independent non-profit degree-granting colleges or universities, or to a Michigan tribally controlled community college for associate degree of certificate programs. The payments shall not exceed an amount equal to the average current in-district resident community college rate with a different amount for university participants. In order to be eligible for TIP, a student must meet all of the following requirements: (1) the student must be a resident of Michigan; (2) the student’s family’s income is or was at the poverty level within the preceding year; (3) the student was under 20 at the time of graduation or GED completion; (4) the student graduated from high school not more than 4 years before application.

  • The Grant for Michigan Resident Dental Graduates Program, which subsidizes the education of dental students at the University of Detroit-Mercy via grants and loans.

  • The Part-time Independent Student Program, which provides need-based grants of up to $600 a year to part-time students attending Michigan’s public universities.

  • The Michigan Education Opportunity Grant Program, which assists financially needy undergraduates who are enrolled at least half-time at a Michigan community college or public university.

  • The Grant for Allied Health Graduates Program, which awards grants to private independent colleges within Michigan that have health and nursing degree programs. The size of the grant is dependent on the number of Michigan residents who graduate from these programs within a given year.

Recommended Action:

Eliminating the above grants would produce a savings of $82,520,900. These programs take money from students and parents through taxes, pass it through the administrative bureaucracies of the many grant programs, and return it to students — minus the costs of collection and administrative overhead. State subsidies also drive up the costs of higher education. The state of Michigan should adopt a policy that encourages students to rely on their families, themselves, private foundations and scholarships, and private business grants and loans to fund their education. Students should be independent of the state for financing their educational needs, just as they should be for their food, clothing and shelter. Savings: $82,520,900.