Senator Tupac A. Hunter

Wayne County: Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Detroit

Detroit Senate Democrats Announce Scholarship Competition to Highlight the Michigan 2020 Plan

$10,000 Competition to promote plan to offer free in-state tuition for all Michigan students

LANSING”Detroit's Senate Democrats announced the #mi2020 Scholarship Competition today that will provide the winner with a year's worth of tuition, up to $10,000, at any of Michigan's community colleges or public universities. To enter, students are asked to submit a short web video at www.mi2020video.com that explains the importance of investing in higher education and how the Michigan 2020 Plan to offer free college tuition to all students is the right investment to make.

“As the people of Michigan look to the Legislature for solutions to increase college access and create jobs, we are introducing the Michigan 2020 Plan that studies have shown can do both,” said Senate Democratic Leader Tupac A. Hunter. “If the numerous reports and the opinions of economists and business leaders aren't enough to convince the Legislature to move these bills, I hope that hearing directly from students across this state who will benefit directly from this scholarship competition will, and I urge all local students to participate.”

“In order for Michigan to jumpstart its economy, we need a truly forward-thinking idea. That's precisely what the Michigan 2020 Plan represents,” said Senator Morris Hood III. “The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition will help one student with their college expenses right now, with the hopes that this legislation will pass and allow all students to be free of financial burden in the future.”

The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition is open to all current Michigan high school seniors, whether they are attending public school, private school or are home-schooled. The winner will receive up to $10,000 for their first year's expenses at a public Michigan university or community college.

“I hear from students on a routine basis that are ready to take on the challenge of going to college but struggle with how they can possibly afford it,” said Hedlun Walton, a Michigan High School guidance counselor. “A college education is a gateway to success for Michigan students and a key to getting our state back on track, and this scholarship will provide one student with that opportunity until we can provide it to every graduate in Michigan.”

“We know that in order to attract job creation we need a well-trained, educated work force. The more educational opportunities our citizens have, the better Michigan's economic outlook,” said Senator Bert Johnson. “The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition gets students involved in the process and allows their voice to be heard on what going to college and its associated costs means to them.”

To enter, high school seniors are asked to create a short video that explains why Michigan needs to enact the Michigan 2020 Plan. Submissions open today, March 6th, and are due by April 20, 2012. Online voting will begin on April 23rd with the top 20 videos moving on to the finals. For more information on the #mi2020 Scholarship Competition, including eligibility, judging criteria and how to enter, go to www.mi2020video.com.

“If we make college affordable, our students will go,” said Senator Coleman A. Young II. “Passing the Michigan 2020 Plan will show that our state is serious about education and cares about the success of its citizens.”

“The rising cost of college is preventing many of our students from getting the education they need to compete for jobs. No one should be denied a bright future because they can't afford to go to college,” said Senator Virgil Smith. “The Michigan 2020 Plan says we value our students and are ready to make a real investment in our future. This plan closes outdated, ineffective corporate tax loopholes and makes our kids a top priority.”

The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition is designed to engage Michigan's students in the discussion on the Michigan 2020 Plan. Senate Democrats are introducing legislation this week to implement the proposal that would enable all Michigan high school graduates to have their tuition and associated costs paid for at one of Michigan's community colleges or universities. The proposal would come at no extra cost to taxpayers and would instead be paid for by reducing ineffective and outdated tax loopholes. The total estimated cost of this program is $1.8 billion per year once it is fully implemented.

To learn more about the Michigan 2020 Plan, you can visit http://www.michigan2020.com/.

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