Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, November 2, 2009

Granholm signs higher ed budget without Michigan Promise Scholarship

The higher education budget bill was one of the last six bills Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed Friday as she finalized the state’s $44.5 billion 2009-10 budget.

While the legislation included the expected appropriations, it did not include funding for the Michigan Promise Scholarships.

“The governor’s signature on the higher education budget, ahead of Saturday’s deadline, is welcome news,” says Cynthia Wilbanks, U-M’s vice president for government relations.

“We remain concerned about the status of the Michigan Promise Scholarships, and are disappointed that students who expected this support this year are left vulnerable.”

A total of 6,639 students on the Ann Arbor campus were to have received Michigan Promise Scholarship money.

The university will use $2 million that was set aside in the FY 2010 budget to fill the gap left by the unfunded Michigan Promise Scholarships for those students with demonstrated financial need, says Phil Hanlon, vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs. That includes 1,662 students on the Ann Arbor campus.

The appropriations included in the legislation will come in two parts this year. One is the base appropriation that is tied to 2006 funding levels. The other is a one-time appropriation of stimulus funds. The funding for U-M's three campuses is:

• Ann Arbor: $316.6 million, plus $8.78 million in one-time funding

• Dearborn: $24.7 million, plus $733,500 in one-tine funding

• Flint: $20.9 million, plus $627,200 in one-time funding

Hanlon says the one-time funding is restricted for financial aid or infrastructure projects.

Granholm said Friday she would continue to work toward identifying additional funding to restore the Michigan Promise Scholarships.

Wilbanks says she remains hopeful for the future. “Every economically successful state finds a way to keep investing in higher education, and if we are to turn around our state’s economy, Michigan must do the same.”