The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Acorn Newsmagazine

The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

Acorn Newsmagazine

Free Community College

Gretchen Whitmer’s New Budget Proposal May Lead to Cost-Efficient Community College

On February 7th, 2024, Governor Gretchen Whitmer presented her new budget plan promising students the opportunity to have tuition-free education from pre-school to community college. This new budget of $80.7 billion would allow students to earn an associate’s degree or skills training at a community college, tuition-free. This new plan also grants an extra $1,000 to students with higher financial needs, potentially saving about 18,000 students over $4,000 on tuition costs. This will also give more funding towards the Michigan Reconnect program, which is a pre-existing scholarship opportunity for free tuition for adults 21 and over who are going back to school, and will increase funding towards the Tuition Incentive Program, which provides support for students who come from lower-income households. This plan will not only affect community colleges, but students of all grades and age levels, as this new budget will also inclu

Photo contributed by Zoe Chase

de more investment into the Great Start Readiness program, which has the goal of eventually offering preschool to all children, free of cost. Additionally, $200 million will be invested in free lunch programs for all public schools in Michigan.

This change could be significant for High School seniors who plan to attend community college and could have a major impact on all students. Royal Oak High School’s Testing Coordinator Janet Norling gave her input on how this change could affect future students of community college.

“College is cost prohibitive,” Norling said. “It would enable people who previously couldn’t afford to get these trainings and opportunities to now be able to experience them.”

Many students who are interested in pursuing further education are not able to achieve those goals because of the cost of it. If Whitmer’s budget plan goes into effect, it could mean that so many more students would have many more opportunities that would allow them to pursue the careers that they want. They would be able to accomplish potential schooling dreams that seemed so distant prior to this new budget because of how expensive it is.

Josephine Devine, a current ROHS senior and ACES student, also weighed in on the positive impact that this change could have on her and her future with community college.

“For me, being in community college through ACES has been a really great middle step between high school and college,” Devine said. “I think that everyone should have the opportunity to get their associate’s degree if they can.”

This is also why lowering the age requirement for the Michigan Reconnect program could be beneficial. Younger students who may not want to go to a 4-year university will have more opportunities to be able to go through community college regardless of their financial standing.

Senior Jocelin Cross feels similarly,

“I’m attending OCC next year through their nursing program which is a little bit more expensive, and I’m paying for most of my college so I think this would help and make things a lot easier for me” Cross said.

A good education is something that everyone should have the opportunity to have in their lives. The list of benefits that could come from Whitmer’s new budget plan seem to be very long for students, and this could allow us to have a much more cost-efficient and inclusive future when it comes to education.

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Liv Fox
Liv Fox, Publicity Manager
Hi!! My name is Liv Fox, I’m a senior at Royal Oak High School and the publicity manager of Acorn. Outside of school, I love listening to music, reading, and hanging out with my friends. My favorite movie is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and my favorite music artists are Taylor Swift, Fiona Apple, and Stevie Nicks. I’m really looking forward to working on and seeing the magazine thrive this year!

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