Eligible adults could earn a tuition-free degree!

February 8, 2021

Jackson College is serving as a champion to support the Michigan Reconnect program unveiled Tuesday, Feb. 2, in Lansing by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in an effort to address a widening skills gap within the state’s workforce.

Hundreds of leading Michigan business, community and legislative leaders say Reconnect is exactly what state employers need to alleviate the shortage of highly skilled and capable workers.

“Given the negative effects of the pandemic on jobs and companies, this program provides for essential training and education designed to help families and employers get back on their feet,” said Dr. Daniel J. Phelan, President, Jackson College.

Jackson College has committed to spreading the word about the opportunity Michigan Reconnect is providing for eligible adults locally and statewide.

The program is specifically designed for residents who are 25 years or older and have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent. Michigan Reconnect will help pay the costs of tuition or training for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or technical degree.

In order to be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, adults must meet the following criteria:

  • Age 25 and older
  • High school graduate or equivalent
  • Michigan resident for at least one year
  • Not yet completed a college degree (associate or bachelor’s)

Michigan Reconnect pays the remaining balance of tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied.

As of 2019, only 42 percent of Michigan’s working-age residents had an associate degree or higher. Michiganders without a college degree or training credential often face economic challenges. A 2020 analysis by the American Association of Community Colleges reports the median earnings of full-time employees with a high school degree is $40,510 annually, while those with an associate degree make $50,079 per year, based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

“We encourage area residents who want to secure their future by pursuing a satisfying, in-demand career to take advantage of what Michigan Reconnect is offering,” Phelan said.

The application and additional program information are available now at Michigan.gov/Reconnect, with enrollment in classes beginning May 2021.