Students billed for Promise costs

GRAND RAPIDS - At least three state universities already are billing college students for what used to be Michigan Promise scholarship money, while others are taking a wait-and-see approach, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The University of Michigan and Central and Western Michigan universities all have removed Promise scholarship funding from student accounts and are informing students that they must cover the amount until the state Legislature makes a final decision on whether to fund the program, The Press reported.

Other universities are retaining the scholarship on student accounts, but warning students that they will have to pick up the cost later if the state eliminates funding.

The Promise Scholarship gives qualified students up to $4,000 for college tuition over the course of four years, but the state Senate has moved to eliminate the funding as a way to close the state budget gap, The Press reported.

"We've heard a lot of noise, but the state Web site is still telling students the scholarships are there, and they're getting letters from the state Treasury letting them know that they earned them," Lynn Blue, a Grand Valley vice provost and dean, told The Press.

Calvin and Hope colleges also are not asking for the money in advance, and Ferris State University has not yet determined what it will do, a spokeswoman told The Press. The University of Michigan told students to pay the extra amount by Aug. 31 or face late fees, according to The Press.

The Grand Rapids Press, "Some universities demanding extra $500 in tuition in case state cancels Michigan Promise scholarship program," Aug. 15, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "How to Control College Costs," Dec. 8, 2008