April 16, 2019, Introduced by Senator HORN and referred to the Committee on Appropriations.
A bill to establish a financial aid program for certain
residents of this state seeking associate degrees or industry-
recognized certificates or credentials from certain educational and
jobs training programs; to provide for the administration of the
financial aid program; and to prescribe certain powers and duties
of certain state officers, agencies, and departments.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN ENACT:
Sec. 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the
"Michigan reconnect grant act".
Sec. 2. As used in this act:
(a) "Continuous enrollment" means enrollment in at least 2
semesters or the equivalent in terms or quarters, as determined by
the department, during each academic year for a number of
consecutive academic years.
(b) "Department" means the department of talent and economic
(c) "Eligible institution" means an entity described in
subparagraph (i) and (ii) that meets the condition described in
subparagraph (iii), as follows:
(i) Is an accredited degree- or certificate-granting public
community college in this state.
(ii) Is a provider of an educational component of a registered
apprenticeship program or other jobs training program leading to an
industry-recognized certificate or credential if the provider is an
accredited degree- or certificate-granting public community college
in this state and is charging tuition and mandatory fees to the
apprentice or trainee.
(iii) Complies with applicable restraints on fee and tuition
rate increases, if any, provided for in article II of the school
aid act of 1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1801 to 388.1830.
(d) "Gift aid" means scholarships or grants from sources that
do not require repayment. The term does not include student loans,
work-study awards, or qualified withdrawals made from education
savings accounts to pay higher education expenses pursuant to the
Michigan education savings program act, 2000 PA 161, MCL 390.1471
(e) "Half-time student" means a student enrolled in at least 6
credit hours in an academic semester or the equivalent number of
credit hours in a term or quarter, as determined by the department.
(f) "Michigan reconnect grant student" means a student
admitted to and enrolled in an eligible institution and receiving a
Michigan reconnect grant under this act.
Sec. 3. The department shall administer the Michigan reconnect
grant program for residents of this state seeking associate degrees
or industry-recognized certificates or credentials from eligible
institutions, subject to all of the following:
(a) To be eligible for the grant, an individual must meet all
of the following conditions by the date of his or her enrollment
described in subparagraph (iv):
(i) Be at least 25 years old.
(ii) Be a resident of this state for at least the immediately
(iii) Have graduated from high school with a diploma or
certificate of completion or achieved a high school equivalency
certificate. As used in this subparagraph, "high school equivalency
certificate" means that term as defined in section 4 of the school
aid act of 1979, 1979 PA 94, MCL 388.1604.
(iv) Be admitted to, and enrolled as at least a half-time
student in, a program at an eligible institution leading to an
associate degree or industry-recognized certificate or credential.
(v) Not have previously earned an associate or baccalaureate
(b) Students applying for the grant must complete a Michigan
reconnect grant application for their initial year of enrollment in
accordance with a schedule determined by the department. Students
must also complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
each academic year in which they seek to receive the Michigan
(c) To continue to receive a Michigan reconnect grant at an
eligible institution, a student must do all of the following:
(i) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision (e), maintain
continuous enrollment as at least a half-time student in a program
at an eligible institution leading to an associate degree or
industry-recognized certificate or credential.
(ii) Maintain satisfactory academic standing as determined by
the eligible institution and department rules.
(iii) Participate in relevant academic and career advising
programs offered by the eligible institution and the department.
(d) The amount of a Michigan reconnect grant award is equal to
the cost of tuition and mandatory fees at the eligible institution
attended less all other gift aid. Gift aid shall be credited first
to the student's tuition and mandatory fees. If awarded, Michigan
reconnect grant money shall be paid to the eligible institution for
credit to the student's account.
(e) A Michigan reconnect grant student who takes a leave of
absence from an eligible institution due to a medical or family
hardship may, subject to department approval, continue to receive
the grant upon resuming the student's education at an eligible
institution if the student continues to meet all applicable
eligibility requirements. A leave of absence under this subdivision
does not disrupt the requirement of continuous enrollment under
subdivision (c)(i) and does not count toward the 4-year limitation
described in subdivision (f)(i).
(f) A student is eligible for a Michigan reconnect grant until
the occurrence of either of the following:
(i) Subject to subdivision (e), 4 years have passed since the
student became a Michigan reconnect grant student.
(ii) The student has earned an associate degree. For purposes
of this subparagraph, a student who has earned a certificate or
credential at an eligible institution remains eligible for the
Michigan reconnect grant if he or she has not yet earned an
associate degree and the completion of the certificate or
credential directly leads to an associate degree program.
(g) A student who participates in the Michigan reconnect grant
program may transfer from 1 eligible institution to another
eligible institution without loss of the grant so long as the
student continues to meet all eligibility requirements for the
Sec. 4. The department shall promulgate rules to implement
this act pursuant to the administrative procedures act of 1969,
1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.
Enacting section 1. It is the intent of the legislature that
money in the talent investment fund created in section 8a of the
higher education loan authority act, 1975 PA 222, MCL 390.1158a,
shall be expended, upon appropriation, for the purpose of funding
the Michigan reconnect grant program established in the Michigan
reconnect grant act, in accordance with section 8a of the higher
education loan authority act, 1975 PA 222, MCL 390.1158a, which
states that money in the talent investment fund, upon
appropriation, shall be expended "for the purpose of enhancing the
economic talent of Michigan residents, increasing access to
academic and technical credentials or certifications, improving
educational opportunities, or other purposes as provided by law".