Back to College at 60? New Michigan Scholarship Says Sure! – MyNorth.com
In 2019, Marilyn Dear graduated from Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City with an associate degree at the age of 70. “I started college before I had kids and got married,” she says. “I was done 53 years later. It felt great! “
For students like Marilyn, getting back into school is now even easier: The state launched the Michigan Reconnect Scholarship program in February, which offers free tuition to qualifying students 25 and older who want to go to school and do not (yet) !) have a university degree (michigan.gov/reconnect). The $ 30 million program is set to bring students back to campus after a year of COVID-19 uncertainty.
However, Marilyn’s re-entry began in 2011 when her sales job fell away.
At 63, she said she wasn’t ready to close the book on studying. She made it easy – only took one computer course in that first semester at NMC. Then she had a chance encounter with Doug Knorr, owner of Knorr Marketing in Traverse City. “Our kids had gone to school together and he was looking for someone who knew Excel,” says Marilyn. “I told him that I was attending an Excel course and that I started at Knorr in the last week of class.”
Marilyn began her studies at Schoolcraft Community College in 1966 and was able to transfer her 28 credits to NMC which, according to Lindsey Dickinson, director of NMC Counseling, usually comes as a surprise to students or coming back can be stressful, and our goal is to be with to get in touch with the students wherever they are on their way, ”she says.
In order to give the students a foretaste of the campus, the NMC offers Open Houses on Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., which are moderated by staff from the Student Advisory Service, Student Financial Services, IT Help Desk and Success Coaching. Interested students can register early.
Lindsey points out that the financial part of the school puzzle is often solvable. “In addition to the Michigan Reconnect Scholarship Program, our Foundation and Financial Aid office awards more than $ 1 million in scholarships to our students annually,” she says. “We never want finances to get in the way of students’ progress, so our team works hard with every student to make college possible.”