For decades, Mid Michigan College has played a pivotal role in educating thousands of Mt. Pleasant residents.
Starting this fall, that education comes with a 40% savings on tuition.
That’s because residents of the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools voted May 4 to join those living in Beaverton, Clare, Farwell, Gladwin, and Harrison school districts as part of the college’s official in-district service area.
“This means that those living in the Mt. Pleasant school district support the college with a property tax millage,” says Scott Mertes, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Community Outreach at Mid Michigan College
. “In recognition of that support, students living in that district have a significantly lower tuition rate.”
During the 2021-2022 academic year, tuition is 40% lower for students living in the college’s in-district area. Tuition is $137/contact hour for students inside the college’s district compared to $229/contact hour for those outside the district.
Full-time Mt. Pleasant students taking 30 contact hours a year will pay $2,760 less than they were previously. Fall semester classes begin on Aug. 30.
In May, the college also attempted to annex nine other local school districts: Alma, Ashley, Beal City, Breckenridge, Chippewa Hills, Fulton, Ithaca, Shepherd, and St. Louis. Voters in those communities rejected the plan and their students will continue paying out-of-district tuition rates.
Jennifer Verleger, Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent.
Local leaders and educators in Mt. Pleasant say they are pleased with the successful annexation of their district.
“This will provide excellent opportunities for our students for years to come,” says Mt. Pleasant Public Schools Superintendent Jennifer Verleger. “We are grateful for the community partnership with MMC and look forward to working together to help our students understand how they can access an outstanding and affordable higher education right in their backyard.”
Annexing the Mt. Pleasant district is expected to generate an additional $1.4 million in revenue for Mid Michigan College, known locally as Mid.
Mid levies 1.2232 mills on in-district property owners. That means for every $1,000 in assessed value (half a home’s total value), the college collects $1.22. For the average home in Isabella County, the levy will cost about $67 per year.
Mid has the second-lowest millage rate among the state’s community colleges.
Get more at Mid
With its original campus in Harrison, Mid has been serving the region since 1965.
Though it’s had an established campus in Mt. Pleasant for over 27 years, property owners and residents in the area were not in Mid's in-district service area. As such, students paid 40% more for their tuition than in-district students.
“But over the years, we frequently received the question, ‘I live in Mt. Pleasant across from the Mid campus … why do I have to pay out-of-district tuition?’” says Mertes. “Now anyone who lives inside the Mt. Pleasant Public Schools boundaries can take full advantage of all the benefits that are available to them.”
Mid offers nearly 50 degrees and credentials. Some Mid students are pursuing goals of enrichment, others are preparing to transfer to a university, and some are training for a technical career. Their motives may be different, but the results are the same – a higher quality of life.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Community Outreach at Mid Michigan College
Transfer programs are designed for students intending to transfer credits to baccalaureate degree-granting institutions. Career programs provide students with the necessary skills and related knowledge to qualify for skilled, technical, and semi-professional positions in business, industry, and the allied health fields.
“We received a lot of support on our annexation request from the Central Michigan Manufacturers Association
, chambers of commerce, MidMichigan Health
, and others because they recognized this would help with the employment pipeline and attract talent into those organizations,” says Mertes.
Additionally, in-district students who qualify for Futures for Frontliners
or Michigan Reconnect
– the state of Michigan’s new scholarships – can now take full advantage of these programs and attend Mid tuition-free.
Michigan Reconnect builds on the success of the Futures for Frontliners and will pay the cost of in-district tuition, mandatory fees, and contact hours for eligible adults who want to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate at a Michigan public community college.
Reconnect scholarships are accepted by all Michigan public community colleges and are even available to eligible adults who are already enrolled at a Michigan public community college.
The program pays the remaining balance of in-district tuition, contact hours, and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid have been applied. For those who choose to attend an out-of-district community college, Reconnect will pay the in-district portion of tuition.
“Prior to annexation, Mt. Pleasant residents utilizing Futures or Reconnect benefits would have had to pay the difference between in- and out-district tuition,” says Mertes. “Now, these students will realize the maximum benefits and exceptional savings on their college education.”
Mid’s economic impact on the mid-Michigan region is already over $69 million annually. Additionally, its operations directly support 1 in every 43 jobs in the region.
James McBryde, President and CEO of the Middle Michigan Development Corporation.
Lower tuition costs reduce the burden of student loans which allows them to buy homes faster, patronize businesses more, and thrive more quickly, supporters say. It also allows more adults to return to get better training for highly skilled jobs that provide better lives for their families.
With their votes on May 4, the Mt. Pleasant community has demonstrated its commitment to accessible, affordable education for its residents, says James McBryde, President and CEO of Middle Michigan Development Corporation
“Higher education truly plays a pivotal role in how well our region attracts new businesses and supports those that already exist,” says McBryde. “That’s why this annexation success was so important: Now, more people will have the financial means to gain skills that get them good jobs and strengthen our local employers.”