"Michigan Promise" Scholarships Get Green Light

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Student Scholarships

A revamped merit award for high school seniors will include more students and provide more incentives to stay in school.

It passed the state legislature overwhelmingly. Governor Granholm is expected to sign it.

"Colleges do definately cheer an announcement like this," says Nancy Lombardi, interim director of financial aid at Lansing Community College.

At her school, 70% of students get financial aid but a small percentage get the current Michigan Merit Award.

That scholarship can amount for $3,000. The new scholarship can total $4,000.

A students who scores well on the state's assessment test gets $1,000 upfront, $2,000 after one year of higher ecucation, and then the remaining $2,000. Higher education can include university, college, or technical programs.

A student who doesn't score well can still get the money if they too go on and succeed with two years in higher ed.

"That would be a high motivator for me!" Lombardi says.

"We wanna make sure that every student has the expectation...that their gonna continue their education...and we're gonna help provide them money so they can do that," says Liz Boyd, spokesperson for Governor Jennifer Granholm.

The governor proposed these new merit awards. Boyd says she sees it as a cornerstone of her economic plan.