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Michigan on Tuesday began accepting applications for tuition-free assistance for adults 25 and older to earn an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate at their local community college or a private training school.

The Michigan Reconnect program is being supported with an initial $30 million in state funding. Applicants must be at least 25, have lived in the state a year or more, have a high school diploma or equivalent and not have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

It has been a year and a half, since the Raise the Age bill was introduced to the Michigan legislature by Republican representative Jeff Noble. This week, the bill was discussed by the law and justice committee of the legislature. 

According to Jenny Kinne, Community Engagement Specialist for the Michigan League of Public Policy, this bill has the potential to change the way 17 year olds are treated in the criminal justice system.