New Wayne State University Initiative Eases College Costs for Low-Income Students

Wayne State Guarantee offers free tuition to Michigan students with a household income of under $70,000.
Photograph courtesy of Wayne State University

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wayne State University have teamed up on a new initiative that will make a degree at the Detroit university more attainable for Michigan students.

Wayne State Guarantee, which will begin in the fall of 2023, is funded by the bipartisan Michigan Achievement Scholarship program that Gov. Whitmer signed into law last year. It has since saved students up to $8,250 at community college, $20,000 at a private college or university, and $27,500 at a public university.

Under the Wayne State Guarantee, students who meet the requirements will get the opportunity to earn a tuition-free degree with zero out-of-pocket costs. It covers the full cost of tuition as well as registration, student service costs, and other standard fees.

“Wayne State has a long history of being a university of access and opportunity, and now our commitment to making a college degree affordable comes in the form of a guarantee,” Wayne State University President Roy M. Wilson said in a press release about the initiative. 

“We are excited to expand the opportunity for an affordable, world-class education to more Warriors. We are grateful for Governor Whitmer’s leadership in establishing the Michigan Achievement Scholarship and paving the way for Michiganders to pursue tuition-free higher education.”

Students who meet the following requirements are eligible to participate in the initiative:

  • Must be an incoming first-year undergraduate student who is a Michigan resident admitted for fall 2023 as a first-time undergraduate in a degree program.
  • Must have a household income of $70,000 or less and assets of $50,000 or less, confirmed by the 2023-24 FAFSA.
  • Must be enrolled full time with 12 or more credit hours per semester each semester.
  • Must have a 2023/24 FAFSA on file with Wayne State by April 1, 2023, and be eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Must be admitted to Wayne State by April 1, 2023.

Michigan residents who are eligible for the Pell grant for 2023-24 are also eligible. The reward is renewable for up to four years, with an option to apply for a fifth year if the student is on track to graduate that year.

“Students in Michigan deserve the opportunity to receive quality, affordable higher education,” Gov.  Whitmer said in a press release. “I’m proud to work with universities across the state to lower the cost of college for Michigan students and help them gain the skills to be prepared for the new and expanding businesses coming to the state. Last year, almost half of first-year students at Wayne State University had zero out-of-pocket expenses, with this initiative, the university is offering that opportunity to even more students.”

For more information on the Wayne State Guarantee, visit — and find even more education news in metro Detroit at