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Calculating Your Costs

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  • Costs Reconnect Covers

    Reconnect will ensure that when you get your semester bill from the community college, the following items will be free to you:

    • In-district tuition - Free
    • Mandatory fees (fees charged to all students per semester or per hour) - Free
    • Contact hours (extra charges for certain courses and programs) - Free

    Reconnect is a last-dollar program, which means that any Pell grant funds you receive are applied to your tuition and fees bill first, with Reconnect paying what’s not covered by Pell.  If you don’t qualify for a Pell grant, Reconnect will pay the full cost of tuition, mandatory fees, and contact hours.

    Costs Reconnect Does Not Cover

    Even as a Reconnect student, you will be responsible for the following items.

    • Out-of-district tuition costs.
      • If you live outside the district of the community college you plan to attend, your tuition bill will have an out-of-district tuition charge on it.
      • Reconnect only pays the in-district tuition for any of Michigan’s public community colleges, so you will be responsible for covering the difference between the in-district and out-of-district tuition of the community college you plan to attend if you live out of their district and if you do not have other scholarships or awards to cover the difference. 
      • Check with the community college you plan to attend to see if you are considered in-district or out-of-district, and how you can cover the out-of-district cost if needed.  
      • Attending your in-district community college is the best way to ensure free tuition.
    • Application and graduation/commencement fees
    • Lab fees and course-specific fees
    • Fees not charged to all students (e.g., parking fees, fitness center, athletic fees, non-mandatory fees, etc.)
    • Textbooks and other course materials

    When applying to a college, ask them to estimate these costs that are not covered by Reconnect to avoid any surprises when you receive your first bill.

  • Additional Costs to Plan For:

    While Reconnect makes tuition affordable, going back to school still has other costs. Here are some of the additional costs you should plan for:

    • Books and supplies
    • Technology costs
    • Child care expenses 
    • Transportation expenses

    To help you estimate these costs, each community college offers a “net price calculator” on their website. Check List of Colleges to find your local community college website. These calculators estimate the costs for housing, books and supplies, and personal expenses such as transportation. These estimates are based on full-time enrollment. If you are planning to enroll part time, remember that the costs will be half of what the calculator estimates.

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