GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - While the end of the Michigan Promise scholarship program grabbed most of the headlines last fall, students at the state's private universities saw a similar reduction, according to The Grand Rapids Press.

The state cut the Tuition Grant Program that offered up to $2,100 per student to private college enrollees, affecting nearly half the student body at Davenport College and about one-third of enrollees at Baker College, The Press reported.

Davenport's total grant was reduced from $6.4 million to $3 million and Baker's from $20.9 million to $3 million, The Press reported. Grants to all other private universities combined were reduced from $29.3 million to $25.6 million. The awards are given based on need; colleges now are likely to award less per student or tighten eligibility, according to The Press. Graduate students are no longer eligible for any assistance.

Edward Blews, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan, told The Press that the grants save taxpayers millions of dollars.

The state spends an average of $5,700 per student on public colleges, he said. If the 40,000 students receiving private-school grants last year moved to public universities, it could cost taxpayers $228 million in state aid, he said.

The Grand Rapids Press, "College students at two schools - Davenport and Baker - are taking the brunt of Lansing cuts to aid program," Jan. 3, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "When We Should Break a Promise," July 2, 2009