New plan would allow Mich. students to attend college for free - | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

New plan would allow Mich. students to attend college for free

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

There's no such thing as a free lunch, so the adage says, but free education - now that's a different story.

"Tuition is already really expensive so I'm paying almost 200-thousand to be here right now, yeah, it's a lot so I feel like it doesn't sound too bad especially since I'm broke as a college student already," said Nicole Mata in an interview with FOX 32's Tisha Lewis.

Mata is a student at DePaul University – she still has law school to tackle.

She and dozens of states are watching what happens in Michigan with a plan to allow college students to attend school for free, but there's a catch.

If passed, students would pay between 2% and 4% of their post college income for five years for each year they attended school.

"I'm going to pay it later anyways with all these loans so it's almost the same thing to me but I wouldn't be as broke as I am now if I went to Michigan," said Mata.

In Michigan, two million dollars is appropriated from the state's general fund for this pilot program that would last at least five years. It's awaiting approval in the Michigan Legislature.

"If the idea is to help bring college costs down then what we need to be doing is getting government out of college. This only implicates government's role in education even more, that's going to cause prices to go up," said Jonathan Hoenig, Managing Member of

Financial expert Jonathan Hoenig is not down with the idea.

"I hope students don't take this option. They're going to find that they're essentially indentured servants to the state for 20-25 years of their life," said Hoenig.

"Being linked to something for 20 years, that's kind of a commitment. I don't think I'd want to buy into that," said Steve Scheffler, a DePaul University student.

However, others students do.

"I think it would be nicer to pay it off later because then you have a means to have it pay it off if you actually have a job," said Dan Odents, a Columbia College student.

One-hundred students from a public university and 100 students from a community college would be selected to participate in the pilot program. Participants must maintain a 2.5 GPA. A student with a family income of $250,000 or more would not be eligible.



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