Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Legislative panel cuts funding for Michigan Promise Scholarships

University leaders reiterated U-M’s commitment to meet the full demonstrated financial need of undergraduates from the state of Michigan, following a joint House-and-Senate conference committee vote Wednesday to eliminate the Michigan Promise Scholarship.

Phil Hanlon, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs, said, “If the state reduces or eliminates funding for the Michigan Promise Scholarship, the university will provide additional financial aid up to the level required to meet the student’s full demonstrated need.”

All told, 6,096 students on the Ann Arbor campus are slated to receive Michigan Promise Scholarships, according to the Office of Financial Aid. Of the total,1,717 students have demonstrated financial need. These students have not been asked to cover the Michigan Promise Scholarship part of their financial aid package.

The 4,379 U-M students who previously had not demonstrated need but are eligible for Michigan Promise Scholarships have been asked to pay the Promise Scholarship amount upfront. They will be credited that amount if the Promise Scholarship comes through.  

Vice President for Government Relations Cynthia Wilbanks and Hanlon emphasized that the conference committee decision does not necessarily mean an end to the scholarship, which provides up to $4,000 over four years for 96,000 college students in Michigan.

“I’m an optimist,” Wilbanks said. “I believe the governor and Senate and House leadership may find a way to fund the Michigan Promise Scholarship in some form.”