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What is the Michigan Achievement Scholarship?

Class of 2023 graduates of Michigan high schools could receive up to $5,500 per year for up to five years as a full-time student at a public university in Michigan. The Michigan Achievement Scholarship program is free money from the State of Michigan to lower the cost of your college tuition by thousands of dollars per year. 

This is a Michigan scholarship for new Michigan high school graduates. The goal is to make college affordable to more students, increase Michigan’s homegrown talent pool and get the state closer to Governor Whitmer’s goal to increase the number of Michigan adults with a skill certificate or college degree to 60% by 2030.

If you meet the requirements, all you have to do is file your FAFSA each year to earn your Michigan Achievement Scholarship.

FAFSA filing information


Who qualifies for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship?

The State of Michigan estimates that 8 out of 10 new students starting college in Fall 2023 will meet the Michigan Achievement Scholarship requirements. To qualify, you must:  

  1. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
  2. Graduate from a high school in Michigan in 2023 or after with a diploma or certificate of completion or achieve a high school equivalency certificate in 2023 or after.
  3. Be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous year. Parents of dependent students listed on the FAFSA also must have lived in Michigan since July 1 of the previous year. For example, dependent students that graduate from a Michigan high school in 2023, need to have been a resident of Michigan since July 1, 2022 along with their parent(s). 
  4. Show you have financial need by having an Expected Family Contribution of $25,000 or less. You’ll find this out when you file your FAFSA.
  5. Enroll (be accepted and signed up for classes) full time as a degree-seeking student at an eligible Michigan public or private college or university within 15 months of your high school graduation or earning a high school equivalency certificate.

How much money can I earn with the Michigan Achievement Scholarship?

The scholarship is available to Michigan 2023 graduates going on to three different college options:

  • Up to $2,750 if you attend a Michigan community college, per year, for up to three years.
  • Up to $4,000 if you attend a private college or university, per year, for up to five years.
  • Up to $5,500 if you attend a Michigan public university, per year, for up to five years.

For example, if you attend a Michigan public university, you can earn up to $5,500 each year for five years depending on your “first dollar/last dollar” amounts. And you don’t ever have to pay it back.

What does “first dollar/last dollar” mean?

The award has two pieces that are known as the “first dollar” and the “last dollar”. If you attend a Michigan public university, it works like this:

  1. Everyone who meets the eligibility requirements, will receive a minimum or “first dollar” award of $2,500 to use toward tuition and mandatory fees.
  2. The second part or “last dollar” is up to $3,000 and considers specific scholarships and grants including tuition restricted and other specific state and federal aid that you may have in addition to the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. Your last dollar eligibility is calculated based on how much of your tuition and fee specific charges will be covered based on these criteria. Depending on your situation you may qualify for the full $3,000 or a portion of the $3,000. 

You won’t get more money than your tuition and fee specific charges at your university, but you could earn up to that total yearly cost with all your scholarships and grants combined. 

How to apply for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship

  1. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, also known as the FAFSA. As the name says, it is free, and you do it online. 
  2. Enroll at a qualifying institution. This means get accepted and sign up for classes.
  3. Create an account at MI Student Scholarships and Grants and select the institution you plan to attend. This creates your student portal where you can see the status of your scholarship. 

The FAFSA opens on Oct. 1 of your senior year in high school. 

Possible extra free money: The information in your FAFSA is also used to determine any federal, state and institutional grant aid you might be eligible for. 

Renewal Requirements for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship

You must continue to meet these Michigan Achievement Scholarship qualifications every year.

  • Complete a FAFSA each year (It gets easier every time you do it.)
  • Continue to be a Michigan resident.
  • Have an Expected Family Contribution of $25,000 or less.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress at the institution of your choice.

Good news: If you lose your eligibility, you can regain it once the renewal requirements are met again.

Can transfer students use the Michigan Achievement Scholarship?

You have to be a 2023 graduate of a Michigan high school, so those enrolled in community college right now aren’t eligible. 

However, if you are a 2023 graduate of a Michigan high school you could start using your Michigan Achievement Scholarship at a community or tribal college. Then you may be eligible to receive the Michigan Achievement Scholarship for the remainder of up to five consecutive years total, by starting with no more than three years at an eligible Michigan community college or tribal college and transferring to an eligible Michigan public university to complete your degree.

Apply today

So, apply now, submit your FAFSA and see how much you can earn! 

At Central Michigan University, you can combine your Michigan Achievement Scholarship with our Maroon and Gold Merit Recognition Awards that can reduce your tuition by up to 65%! 

Plus, all the math will be done by the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid. They look at your FAFSA information and any other scholarships and grants that you earned and send you an itemized financial aid offer. You will know exactly how much you get and where it comes from.

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