On Sept. 30, Governor Whitmer issued 147 line-item vetoes in an effort to restart state budget talks. One of the biggest cuts was on funding for private colleges in Michigan.
This vetoed bill was supposed to specifically fund the Michigan Tuition Grant that 675 in-state students at Albion College alone receive each year. In addition to Albion College, the cuts affect about 30 other private colleges around the state of Michigan. Part of the veto also reduced the amount of money private college students receive through the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, cutting the maximum down from $2,400 to $1,000.
“I can assume that the vetoes surrounding budget cuts to private colleges and universities will have the most impact on students like myself at Albion,” said Grace Forester, a junior from Zeeland, MI. “Moving forward, I hope the legislature and governor’s office can work together to formulate a budget proposal that will work for all Michiganders, regardless of political affiliation.”
President Mauri Ditzler issued a statement on Facebook regarding the decision made by Governor Whitmer.
“The decision to cut the Michigan Tuition Grant for private colleges is damaging and unfortunate for the 675 in-state students at Albion College who receive the grant, as well as for the thousands of other private college students across the state who rely on the grant to continue their education. Private colleges are at the forefront of empowering economic mobility. And, Albion College and others like us, help identify and nurture, without regard to their economic means, the future leaders of America. We look forward to the swift re-instatement of the Michigan Tuition Grant.”
– Mauri Ditzler
After a week of deliberation in the state House and Senate, legislators have drafted similar bills that if signed, would restore funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant for all private schools. The Albion College Financial Aid Office is currently in a holding period to see what Governor Whitmer and state legislature decide to do moving forward.
Although there has been some discussion in the state capitol on how to move forward, students are still concerned about what this means for their financial aid packages in the future.
“As someone who benefits from the Michigan Tuition Grant, it’s extremely frustrating,” said Alexander Tokie, a senior from Traverse City, MI. “With rising tuition costs, it makes things very difficult and it makes financial planning for college very difficult.”
Fellow members of the alumni board have made a concerted effort to express our concern / outrage at the tactics and stalemate resulting in this funding elimination. College is difficult enough without adding this hardship. I personally wrote to six legislators in districts I have an interest, and to the governor. I have received two replies. I am stunned the others have not responded. Maybe they’re working to restore this much-needed funding. Thank you for The Pleiad coverage. MRH