A new partnership between 10 public universities in Michigan will make it much easier for Michigan students to get accepted to college—just as long as they can earn straight-Bs in high school.
MICHIGAN—College admission is about to get a little more simple in Michigan.
Beginning next fall, most of Michigan’s public universities have agreed to admit most recent high school graduates who earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. The new Michigan Assured Admission Compact (MAAP) is designed to make it easier for Michigan students to get into public universities and boost enrollment, which has rapidly declined statewide in recent years.
Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities, said the new initiative is designed to help “counter this trend” by promising nearly every recent high school graduate in Michigan with a 3.0 or higher GPA admission to at least 10 of Michigan’s 15 public universities.
“Higher education is the surest path to prosperity for our state,” Hurley said in a statement. “Combined with the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, this collaborative effort will send a powerful message that a university education in Michigan is more accessible than ever before.
The participating universities include:
- Central Michigan University
- Eastern Michigan University
- Ferris State University
- Lake Superior State University
- Northern Michigan University
- Oakland University
- Saginaw Valley State University
- University of Michigan-Dearborn
- University of Michigan-Flint
- Wayne State University
Those schools will work together to promote the new initiative to high school students and parents beginning this year, and are set to enact the new standards starting in fall 2024.
Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Western Michigan University, and the University of Michigan’s main campus in Ann Arbor are not participating in the agreement, and are set to maintain their existing admission standards.
Hurley said efforts were made to get those five schools to join the compact—but those universities ultimately wanted to “retain the ability to evaluate their students more holistically.” Officials also said those five universities may also be interested in participating in the future.
‘Doors of Educational Opportunity’
Michigan’s colleges and universities suffered enrollment drops four times steeper than the nation as a whole this year, according to reports from Bridge Michigan. And since 2019, only Alaska and Mississippi reported bigger drop offs in college-going levels than Michigan.
According to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, the number of high school graduates in Michigan is also expected to decline by about 11% from 2022 to 2037—representing an annual decrease of nearly 40,000 graduates compared to 2008.
Only about 53% of Michigan’s high school graduates enrolled in college last year, data shows.
State officials said leveling the playing field for admission at most of Michigan’s public universities will help encourage more graduates to pursue college enrollment—namely by reducing the uncertainty and anxiety that often comes along with the admissions process.
Jeff Donofrio, president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, said the new initiative will also help strengthen Michigan’s “talent pipeline” to “meet the needs of a transitioning economy.”
“It opens the doors of educational opportunity to more young people and creates pathways to the high-skill, high-wage careers that will help us build a strong foundation for Michigan’s future economic success,” Donofrio said in a statement announcing the new partnership on Tuesday.
The Assured Admission Compact also aligns neatly with a goal set by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to have 60% of Michiganders earn a college degree or other post-secondary credential by 2030.
“Our future depends on helping young people graduate without debt so they can get a good-paying job and ‘make it’ in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “The MAAP is proof of what’s possible when we come together to create opportunity for tens of thousands of Michiganders. In tandem with the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, we are lowering costs, building a skilled workforce, and leading the future of advanced manufacturing, technology, and so many other industries.”
The new admission agreement only applies to Michigan students who are applying for admission for the first fall semester following their high school graduation—with some exceptions for gap years allowed depending on the university, officials said.
Universities can also still reject students based on their disciplinary records and criminal histories. Some students may also need to demonstrate English language proficiency.
Although most students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher will be guaranteed admission at the 10 participating universities, they will still need to submit applications to each institution separately. Some universities will also accept students with a GPA below 3.0 on a case-by-case basis.
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