More students with longstanding ties to Michigan, who need additional time to prepare for and enroll at the University of Michigan after graduating high school, will now be eligible for in-state tuition rates following approval of broader qualification guidelines.

Under current policy, students who established in-state tuition eligibility by attending Michigan schools are required to enroll at the university within 28 months of graduating from a Michigan high school or receiving a GED. The revision, approved July 18 by the Board of Regents, extends that enrollment time limit to 40 months.

There is sufficient evidence to extend the time limit based on data showing distinct differences in the timing of application submissions, as well as admission and enrollment patterns, across different demographics, said Kedra Ishop, vice provost for enrollment management.

For community college attendees, underrepresented minorities, first-generation students and low-income students, the median time from high school graduation to university enrollment ranges from 28 to 44 months, Ishop said.

“It’s not surprising that these students often need to take longer to finance and achieve their eventual successful application and enrollment,” Ishop said. “We need to make sure that we maintain reasonable access for those who need to stop along the way, for instance to work, but who continue to achieve and are great candidates for U-M.”

The change will be effective as of the fall of 2020 for newly enrolling students.

Regents approved the “attendance pathway” to qualify for in-state tuition in 2013 to provide a more flexible route for students who did not follow a traditional path to higher education. This includes undocumented students — as well as students who receive benefits under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program — who have attended middle and high school in Michigan.

“The proposed change will simplify the process for students who may leave the state temporarily after high school and for those who are not legal residents of the state of Michigan or the United States but who may qualify for in-state tuition under the school attendance pathway,” Provost Martin Philbert wrote in a memo to regents.

“While continuing to do so, it further seeks to provide greater flexibility for the diversity of students who require more time to prepare for, seek and gain admission and enrollment,” Philbert wrote.

To qualify for in-state tuition through the attendance pathway, a student must have attended an accredited Michigan high school for at least three years and either graduated from an accredited Michigan high school or received a GED. They also must have attended an accredited Michigan middle or junior high school for the two years preceding high school.

In extending the time limit, U-M joins Michigan State University and Oakland University which also have 40-month policies.

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