The state of Michigan as well as all other states offers all residents many opportunities to pursue education beyond high school. There are many students who are unable to pay for a college education without financial assistance. Financial aid programs were created to help students and parents realize that a college education is attainable and achievable. GCC students participate in the following state programs.
Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS)
This scholarship is based on both financial need and merit. Awards are restricted to the cost of tuition and fees. Eligibility ends when a student has completed a baccalaureate degree, after completing the equivalent of 10 semesters or 15 terms, or when a student has been out of high school over ten years, whichever occurs first. A student must take the ACT test prior to entering college and achieve a qualifying test score. The ACT must be taken by December of the senior year of high school for priority consideration. Students should contact their high school counseling office for additional information.
To be eligible for the MCS, a student must demonstrate financial need; achieve a qualifying score on the ACT; achieve a high school diploma, GED certificate, or meet GCC’s Ability to Benefit standards; qualify as a Michigan resident as of July 1 of the previous year; be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or approved refugee; enroll at least half-time; maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0; meet GCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy; not have a bachelor’s degree; not be in default on a federal student loan; and not be incarcerated. Students must file the FAFSA before March 1 of every year to be considered for an award. The maximum award amount for 2009-2010 was $510.
Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)
This is an incentive program that encourages students to complete high school by providing tuition assistance for the first two years of college and beyond. The program targets students with financial need, so students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA. The Michigan Office of Scholarships and Grants will send an application form to the home of each student identified as eligible by the Michigan Department of Human Services. The student must then complete the application form and return it to the Michigan Office of Scholarships and Grants before graduation from high school or GED completion and before their 20th birthday.
To be eligible for TIP, the student must have (or have had) Medicaid coverage for 24 months within a 36-consecutive-month period as identified by the Michigan Department of Human Services (This can happen as early as the sixth grade.); submit a copy of their eligibility letter to the GCC Financial Aid Office; be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; be a Michigan resident as determined by GCC; enroll at least half-time in a program for a maximum of 80 semester credits; meet GCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy; not be in default on a federal student loan; and initiate enrollment within four years of high school graduation or GED completion. TIP will pay up to a maximum of 24 semester credits per academic year and mandatory fees up to $500. Mandatory fees are defined as only those fees that are charged to all students across the board as a requirement for enrollment. Covered fees include student activity fees and registration fees. No college admission or course-specific fees are covered. GCC will award the TIP Grant for the number of credits the student is enrolled in for first semester. This number will be subtracted from 24 to determine the amount of the student’s second semester TIP award.
Children of Veterans Tuition Grant (CVTG)
This grant is designed to provide undergraduate tuition assistance to certain children older than 16 and less than 26 years of age who are the natural or adopted child of a Michigan veteran. The veteran must have been a legal resident of this state immediately before entering military service and must not later have resided outside of Michigan for more than two years, or the veteran must have established legal residency in Michigan after entering military service.
To be eligible for the CVTG, the veteran must have been killed in action or died from another cause while serving in a war or war condition in which the U.S. was participating; have died or become totally and permanently disabled as a result of a service-connected illness or injury prior to death and now has died; or be listed as missing in action in a foreign country as determined by the U.S. government. The student must be enrolled at least half-time; be a Michigan resident for one year prior to program application; be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.25; and not have been convicted of a felony involving an assault, physical injury, or death.
The maximum CVTG award for a full-time student is $2,800 per academic year up to four academic years and a maximum of $11,200. Application forms may be downloaded at www.michigan.gov/studentaid or requested by calling 1-888-447-2687.
Education and Training Voucher (ETV)
The ETV program provides financial assistance to help youth in foster care pay for training or education beyond high school. A youth is eligible until their 21st birthday as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. If the youth participated in the program before their 21st birthday, they continue to be eligible until age 23 as long as they receive and maintain at least a 2.0 GPA. The maximum amount of the award is $5,000 per academic year for qualified expenses.
To be eligible for the ETV a student must have been in foster care on or after their 14th birthday because of abuse or neglect and if they have been adopted from foster care on or after their 16th birthday; and have a high school diploma or GED. For information on applying contact the Michigan Department of Human Services Central Office at 1-517-241-8904, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan at 1-877-660-6388 or online at www.mietv.lssm.org. Students must also complete the FAFSA.
Police Officer’s and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Act
This program provides for the waiver of tuition for the surviving spouse and children of Michigan police officers and fire fighters killed in the line of duty. To be eligible for the program, the applicant (spouse or child) must be a legal resident of Michigan for 12 consecutive months preceding application; meet GCC’s Satisfactory Academic Progress policy for each enrolled semester; not have a bachelor’s degree; and provide satisfactory evidence to the Michigan Department of State Police that the applicant is an eligible child or surviving spouse of a police officer or fire fighter killed in the line of duty. The child must be less than age 21 at the time of death of the police officer or fire fighter and apply for the first time before age 21. For additional information, contact the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards at 1-517-322-2968, or visit the website at www.mcoles.org and click on “Law Enforcement Resources.”
Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS)
MRS assists eligible Michigan citizens with physical or mental disabilities to prepare for, enter, and maintain employment. For additional information and a listing of MRS district offices, call 1-800-605-6722 or visit the website at www.michigan.gov/mrs. Call the Ironwood office at 906-932-0222 or the Houghton office at 906-482-6045 for local information. Wisconsin has a similar program and additional information can be obtained by calling 715-682-7252.
Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver
This program provides free tuition for North American Indians in the state of Michigan. It does not pay for books or fees. Applicant must be no less than one-quarter blood Indian as certified by the applicant’s tribal enrollment department; must be a legal Michigan resident for not less than 12 consecutive months; and provide adequate proof of Michigan residency. Eligible students must submit the Michigan Indian Tuition Waiver Application to their individual tribal organization. The state will then send the college an official letter of eligibility for the individual student. For additional information, contact the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Sault Ste. Marie at 906-632-6809 or request a brochure describing this program from the GCC Financial Aid Office.
Michigan Works and Northwest Wisconsin CEP, Inc.
Michigan and Wisconsin both have job training agencies located throughout the state to assist students in paying for their eligible educational expenses. For more information regarding the Michigan program, call 906-932-4059 (Ironwood) and 906-482-6916 (Houghton). In Wisconsin, call 715-682-4889 (Ashland) or 715-762-2477 (Park Falls).
For a complete listing of state agencies that are responsible for administering state financial aid programs, log on to www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov. (Click on: Students/Student Aid on the Web/Applying for Financial Aid/Funding Your Education/State Aid.)
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