September 17-23, 2017: Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities Week

WHEREAS, Michigan is home to 25 independent colleges and universities serving over 120,000 students; and,

WHEREAS, while Michigan’s student population has declined overall, enrollment at Michigan’s independent colleges and universities has increased by 30 percent in the last 16 years; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan’s independent colleges and universities experienced a 21 percent growth in United States military veteran undergraduate enrollment from 2014-2015 and a 33 percent enrollment increase for United States military veterans in graduate programs; and,

WHEREAS, 39 percent of United States military veterans pursuing an undergraduate degree in Michigan do so at a Michigan independent college or university; and,

WHEREAS, one of the most important factors in collegiate student success is affordability; and,

WHEREAS, 81 percent of students attending a Michigan independent college or university receive some form of financial aid via an institutional scholarship or grant. The amount of scholarships and grants provided directly by institutions has increased by over $246 million between 2005 and 2015, a 99 percent increase in 10 years; and,

WHEREAS, half of undergraduate students at Michigan’s independent colleges and universities receive need-based Pell Grants; and,

WHEREAS, 20,293 diplomas were earned in 2015 by students at independent colleges and universities in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, over 80 percent of graduates from Michigan independent colleges and universities choose to live and work in the state after graduation; and,

WHEREAS, smaller colleges and universities, like many Michigan independent colleges and universities, provide excellent individualized support, both in the classroom and within the administration;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 17-23, 2017 as Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities Week.