Back to college — but what if you’re older?

Added August 20th, 2014 by Peter Ruark | Email This Entry Email This Entry
Peter Ruark

Before the month is over, more than 755,000 Michigan residents will begin classes at a public university or community college and many will get financial aid.

Many of these students will be over 30 years old, but as a new paper from the Michigan League for Public Policy shows, those older students at public campuses will not be eligible for any of the three financial aid grants offered by the state.

If they qualify, they will be eligible for federal Pell Grants. Pell Grants themselves are often not enough to cover tuition and expenses, however, leaving older students to take out expensive student loans or jeopardize their academic success by working more hours.

Michigan used to have two financial aid programs specifically geared toward older workers and those going less than part time. Those programs were discontinued in 2010.

Michigan’s two remaining financial aid grants for students at public institutions are not available to older students, or to those who attend school less than part-time in order to work and raise a family.

Michigan should either restore one or both of the grant programs for older and less than part time students, or modify its existing grant programs so that older students are eligible.

Getting a postsecondary credential and marketable skills are essential for many older workers, and a lack of financial aid should not be the barrier that prevents that.

— Peter Ruark


One Response to “Back to college — but what if you’re older?”

  1. […] (Originally posted in the Michigan League for Public Policy blog) […]

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