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From the Algonac High School Counseling Center

5200 Taft Road, Algonac, Michigan 48001

April 23, 2009

Dear Parent(s)/Guardian(s),

RE – Tuition Incentive Program (TIP)

Student Name ______________________________________________________________

_____ Acceptance Form needs to be completed (read on for details)

_____ Student has received Eligibility Letter

As you probably know, your son or daughter has been determined by the Michigan
Department of Treasury – Office of Scholarships and Grants as TIP (Tuition Incentive
Program) eligible. To be eligible a student must have (or have had) Medicaid
Coverage for 24 months within a 36 consecutive month period. Students are identified
as TIP eligible as early as sixth grade, typically age 12 or after, so you may have
received a letter from the OSG when your student was in middle school.

The purpose of this letter is to make sure you understand TIP and what must be
done to assure that your student gets this money for college. There are 32 juniors
from AHS that are TIP eligible. It is my goal to make sure that every junior at AHS that
was determined TIP eligible by the state uses their benefit.

The easiest way to explain TIP is that it is a state of Michigan program that pays
college tuition and mandatory fees in two phases. Phase I pays for a certificate
program (one year) or for an associate’s degree (two-year degree) from Michigan
colleges. If your TIP eligible student goes to college outside the state of Michigan,
they cannot use this benefit. All community colleges in Michigan offer associate
degree programs. Some universities offer associate degree programs and so Phase I of
TIP can be used. The following 4-year universities offer associate degree programs and
so Phase I TIP (tuition) can be used at any of these universities: Ferris State
University, Lake Superior State University, Michigan State University (will
pay Phase I benefits only for Institute of Agriculture Technology Certificate
Program), Michigan Technological University and Northern Michigan
University. TIP does not pay for room & board, that is about half of the cost of
attending a university. If your TIP eligible senior wants to attend any other public
universities, Phase I of TIP will not pay for the tuition. Phase II at public universities
covers $2,000 for the junior and senior year in college.

Private colleges and universities accept Phase I TIP but the amount that is paid is only
that of the average in-district community college. So not all of the tuition is covered at
a private school under Phase I of TIP. Phase II of TIP at private colleges/universities is
the same as at publics, $2,000 for the last two years in college.
Here’s the bottom line:

1. Make sure your student has completed the necessary paperwork to receive TIP
2. If this letter states that your student needs to complete an acceptance form to
receive TIP and you still have the letter from the state with the acceptance form,
fill it out and send it back to the state.
3. If you don’t have the letter with the acceptance form, call this number – 1-888-
447-2687 and ask to speak to someone about TIP. Tell them you need the TIP
acceptance form. It will be mailed to you, fill it out and send it back.
4. When you receive your TIP Eligibilty Letter, put it in a safe place! If you need
a copy of this letter contact the OSG at 1-888447-2687. Your student will take
this letter to his or her financial aid office of the college or university they will
attend, the financial aid office will take it from there!
5. Complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 1,
2010! TIP eligible students may be eligible for other federal and state financial
aid programs that will cover other education expenses like room & board, books,
supplies and transportation. Complete your FAFSA at

In my opinion, the best way to get the most from TIP is to send your student to
community college, specifically St. Clair County Community College (SC4) if you live in
St. Clair County. Tuition for your student’s associate degree (2-year degree) will be
completely covered by TIP Phase I. Then if your student wants to earn a bachelor’s
degree (4-year degree) they can transfer to a 4-year university and TIP Phase II will
pay $2,000 towards that degree. Community colleges have excellent transfer guides
that make the transition from community college to university smooth and easy.

If your student is TIP eligible it is extremely important that they complete the eligibilty
process by submitting the application to the OSG by the time they graduate high
school. If they don’t complete the process prior to graduating, they cannot receive the

This is such a wonderful opportunity – to have your student’s college paid for by the
state! In these difficult economic times a college degree is so important. Please help
me to make sure that your student understands the importance of following through
with this process. If you or your student has any questions, I am available. Please feel
free to call or email me your questions.

I am enclosing a “Tuition Incentive Program Fact Sheet” that contains all of the details
about the program. The website to visit for more information is

Most Sincerely,

Mrs. Nicole Coss

Guidance Counselor – Class of 2010 & 2012
(810) 794-4911 ext 1281