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MiLEAP Announces Grant Opportunities for Public and Tribal Colleges to Grow College Enrollment and Support Students

New Barrier Removal—Growing Institutional Capacity and Reconnect Community Action Grants will help colleges increase student success

Today, the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP) announced the launch of two grant opportunities: Barrier Removal – Growing Institutional Capacity Grants and the Reconnect Community Action Grants, which offer public and tribal colleges fund to grow college enrollment, strengthen institutional systems to eliminate barriers, such as housing, transportation and child care, and support adults as they earn a skill certificate or degree.  

“MiLEAP is committed to getting more students to and through college. We’re proud of the work the Governor and Legislature have done to lower or eliminate tuition-costs, and these grants are the natural next step to support student success on campus and in communities,” said Michelle Richard, acting director of MiLEAP. “The Barrier Removal and Reconnect Community Action Grants focus specifically on rallying around colleges in their efforts to build capacity and resources that will directly benefit students and remove barriers to their success. We’re also offering an opportunity to fund regional collaboratives with strategies to develop local 2030 attainment goals. I encourage eligible institutions and their partners to start application planning now.”

The Barrier Removal – Growing Institutional Capacity and Reconnect Community Action grants are part of a new $45 Million Student Success grant initiative, the state’s first ever grant program aimed at increasing student success rates at Michigan community and tribal colleges and universities. The initiative will help the state achieve its Sixty by 30 goal of 60% of adults with a skill certificate or degree by 2030 and ensure more Michiganders have the knowledge and skills they need to make it in Michigan.

 “Food and housing insecurity are all too common among Michigan’s college students, and non-tuition costs like transportation and child care present additional financial hurdles. Michigan College Access Network is excited for MiLEAP to make these grants available to Michigan's public and tribal colleges to help address these needs," said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. "This funding will support increased access to postsecondary opportunities for students who need it most, including low-income students, students of color and first-generation college-going students. These grants will help our institutions address systemic inequities head-on, empowering students to succeed and strengthening communities in Michigan for generations to come."

Barrier Removal – Growing Institutional Capacity Grants

The Barrier Removal – Growing Institutional Capacity Grants focus on funding to strengthen institutional systems to eliminate barriers for students struggling to meet their basic needs. Grant award amounts range from $100,000 to $400,000 over one to three years.

Eligible Applicants

  • Public colleges and universities
  • Community colleges
  • Tribal colleges
  • Nonprofit organizations partnering with a college or university

Application Windows

  • June 7 application deadline with a July award date.
  • August 16 application deadline with a September award date.
  • November 8 application deadline with a December award date.

Reconnect Community Action Grants

The Reconnect Community Action Grants focus on funding for community colleges working with county-wide governmental entities in community partnerships to grow college enrollment and support adults on their post-secondary journeys. The Reconnect Community Action Grants are broken down into two categories, the Reconnect Entry Point Collaboratives which will support county-wide or regional efforts to increase college enrollment and the College and Career Navigators which will support college and career navigators connected to a county or regional collaborative effort pursuing a local educational attainment goal. Grant award amounts range from $100,000 to $300,000 over one to three years for the Reconnect Entry Point Collaborative and $200,000 to $1,000,000 for College and Career Navigator Support.

Eligible Applicants

  • Community colleges partnering with a county government
  • Tribal Colleges partnering with a county Government

Application Windows

  • May 17 application deadline with a June award date.
  • September 13 application deadline with an October award date.

MiLEAP will be hosting a webinar on April 12 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. for an overview of the grant applications, and the type of opportunities the state is looking to fund. Those who are interested in attending can register here.

To learn more about these grant opportunities, visit parties can also subscribe to email updates on these opportunities at

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