MI Achievement Scholarship
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. In fact, new 2023 MI high school graduates could receive up to $5,500 in the Michigan Achievement Scholarship starting with the 2023-2024 academic year!
The Michigan Achievement Scholarship began with the goal 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.
To receive a Michigan Achievement Scholarship, you must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year.
- If you are a dependent student, your parent must also be a Michigan resident since July 1 of the previous calendar year.
- Graduate from high school in Michigan with a high school diploma in 2023 or after.
- Demonstrate financial need when you complete the FAFSA—by having an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less.
- Enroll full-time (12 credit hours per semester).
- Enroll within 15 months of high school graduation.
Students are not eligible if they are incarcerated or are in default on a federal student loan.
How much can I receive?
The scholarship is available to Michigan 2023 graduates and after 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 such as Central Michigan 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:
- Everyone who meets the eligibility requirements, will receive a minimum or “first dollar” award of $2,500 to use toward tuition and mandatory fees.
- 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 can I apply for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship?
- File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid. As the name says, it is free, and you do it online. Don't forget, the FAFSA will open in December 2023 for the 2024-25 academic year.
- Enroll full time at a qualifying institution. This means get accepted and sign up for classes.
- 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.
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.
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. If you transfer to Central Michigan University midway through a qualifying year, you could potentially receive up to the maximum amount of $5,500 - our office will do the math for you!