LANSING — State Rep. Sheryl Kennedy (D-Davison) and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference today to announce their plan to create the MI Opportunity Initiative to provide universal access to affordable higher education for Michigan’s hardworking students. During her recent budget presentation, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called on the Legislature to expand access to community college and increased opportunities for students pursuing careers in skilled trades through technical education. Rep. Kennedy, a lifelong teacher and administrator, recently introduced House Bill 4464 to make that bold plan a reality.

“Every student in Michigan has the right to a world-class education, no matter the path their journey takes them on,” said Rep. Kennedy. “This legislation will encourage more young people to take the next step to stackable credentials and a livable wage and renew our commitment to unlocking the potential of every Michigan student.”

The MI Opportunity Initiative would provide last-dollar tuition assistance to eligible students for up to three years of community college, or until the student earns 60 semester credits, and/or an associate degree.  Low- or middle-income students with a B-average enrolling in a four-year college/university would also be able to apply for tuition assistance to make college more affordable and lower their debt burden.  Those enrolled in the MI Opportunity program would also have access to a success coach to offer personalized support throughout their postsecondary education.

Rep. Kennedy’s bill has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for consideration.