On Sept. 30, Governer Gretchen Whitmer made a series of line-item vetoes. One of these vetoes cut funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant, thereby taking a form of financial aid away from private college students across the state. Given that Albion is a private college, the decision directly impacts many students at the college.
The following is an open letter from Albion College President Mauri Ditzler regarding the matter.
To the Albion College Community,
When news broke from Lansing that funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant was vetoed from the budget, many students on campus were understandably concerned. I was, and am, concerned for them.
For nearly half of our current students, the Michigan Tuition Grant is an important element of their financial aid package. For many, it makes attending Albion College possible.
Last week, I was heartened to read that state legislators had introduced similar bills in both the House and Senate that would, if signed by the Governor, restore funding for the Michigan Tuition Grant for students who attend Albion College and other colleges like ours.
I believe that our College’s purpose – to provide an education that enables social mobility – is consistent with the goals our state Senators and Representatives, and Governor Whitmer, have for Michigan. I hope that I am right.
I fear that at times assumptions are made about Albion College (and colleges like Albion) that are untrue, simply because we are a private institution. At Albion, in 2017, 41% of our students were eligible for federal Pell Grant funding. By comparison and for the same the year (2017), 19% of students enrolled at the University of Michigan were eligible for Pell Grant funding.
My hope, for the 675 impacted students on Albion’s campus today, is that the Michigan Tuition Grant will be swiftly reinstated through the measures the legislature is working on right now in Lansing, so that our students who have worked hard to gain acceptance to a college that they believe in, and that believes in their potential, can go back to focusing on why they are here – to learn how to be global and community leaders in ways that will bring meaning and fulfillment to their lives.
The entire Albion College community can be involved in the process by contacting your local state Senator and Representative to express your opinion on the veto and restoration bills related to the Michigan Tuition Grant.
I am proud of our learning community at Albion College. One that is open, inclusive and diverse, and intent on providing opportunities to all students who have set their sights on a future of conscientious leadership.