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Agold minein ourbackyardNew Michigan Achievement Scholarship is the latest way families can cut college costs by choosing NMCUpcoming high school graduates got an early gift from the state of Michigan last fall: the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.Created by bipartisan legislation, the Achievement Scholarship makes 2023 graduates eligible for annual scholarships in amounts up to:•$2,750at a Michigan community college, renewable for up to three years •$4,000at a Michigan private college or university, renewable for up to five years • $5,500at a Michigan public university, renewable for up to five years A diploma and demonstration of financial need on the FAFSA are the only requirements. NMC’s Office of Financial Aid estimates up to 200 area high school graduates could qualify, and NMC could award between $300,000–$400,000 in Michigan Achievement scholarships.HS class of 2023nmc.edu/miachievement The community college scholarship would cover about half of NMC’s tuition for one year, said Vicki Beam, owner of Michigan College Planning in Traverse City.“By cutting the cost in half, essentially, they would not have to take as much out in a student loan,” Beam said. “It’s being generous, in a lot of ways.”The scholarship aims to push Michigan closer to achieving its Sixty by 30 goal of 60% of adults with a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.Traverse City Central High School counselor Kim Fleming expects the scholarship to both relieve and reassure students about taking on the cost of higher education. “The financial need of our students has increased over the past few years. I think the new Michigan Achievement Scholarship will help the senior class of 2023 be more confident about their decision to seek a post-secondary credential,” she said.“We are thrilled to offer high school graduates this opportunity, on top of the more than $1 million in donor-created scholarships NMC already offers,” said NMC President Nick Nissley.Early College & dual enrollmentHigh school students can also reduce college costs through two long standing programs: Early College and dual enrollment. For Early College, students take NMC classes during high school and attend for one year after graduation to earn an associate degree. For dual enrollment, they take NMC classes of their choice during high school which can then transfer toward a degree at another college or university. Tuition for both programs is paid by the local school district, not students.“They can be leaving high schools with a pretty good chunk of credit under their belt,” Beam said. “We have a gold mine in our backyard.”Michigan Reconnect25+, no degree?nmc.edu/reconnect For those past high school, NMC also participates in Michigan Reconnect, a state scholarship that offers free in-district tuition (Grand Traverse County residents) to adults 25 and over who do not already have a college degree or certificate. Total NMC Reconnect participation stands at 400 students who have received $562,804.NMC economic impact data shows that people with an associate degree earn $8,500 more per year than someone with only a high school diploma.“With Michigan Reconnect and now Michigan Achievement, there’s never been a better time to improve your earning potential through higher education,” Nissley said. N