Over 120,000 students in Michigan are eligible for the Michigan Promise Scholarship...a $4,000 incentive that aims to keep Michigan students in Michigan.
"We certainly hope they stay in Michigan," said Martin Ackely of the Michigan Department of Education. "They have a $4,000 scholarship to stay in Michigan. It's in their pocket if they stay so that's a great incentive. "
Ninety-four percent of all juniors can receive the award after completing a grueling three day, 18 hour exam, which includes the ACT.
While 94% of Michigan juniors are eligible for the state scholarship, only about one third of those will see that money up front. The other two thirds must first complete two years of higher education before they can receive the $4,000.
It's a system that's geared toward giving students any opportunity to extend their education.
"Some students don't test well. We aren't penalizing those students," Ackley said. "They still have the opportunity for a scholarship, they just have to earn it after two years of post-secondary education.
But with about 40,000 students eligible immediately, how does the state plan to pay for it?
"We will dedicate money from the tobacco settlement to this scholarship program. We can't afford not to," said Governor granholm's Press Secretary Liz Boyd. "We cannot afford not to invest in our young people."
Boyd says they're hoping all students will take them up on the offer. This is the first year of the new testing program so results should only improve.
Just 32% of the class of 2008 can receive scholarship money for their first year of college, but Boyd expects that to change drastically with this year's freshmen.
"I think four years from today we're going to be very excited about the results. I think you'll see achievement beyond our expectations."
Until then more students will have to prove themselves in college, before the state invests in their education.
For those who aren't immediately eligible, a retake exam will be given in late October.