On Sept. 19, the Michigan Association of State Universities announced that the University of Michigan’s Dearborn and Flint campuses will participate in the Michigan Assured Admission Pact, an agreement between 10 of Michigan’s 15 public universities to guarantee admission to all in-state students who earn a 3.0 GPA or above. The pact aims to boost enrollment among participating schools and open up the opportunity for more Michigan students to attend college.
University President Santa Ono wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that U-M Flint and U-M Dearborn will participate starting in the 2024 admissions cycle.
“UM-Flint and UM-Dearborn (are) among the 10 Michigan universities that will accept any state high school grad with a GPA of 3.0 or higher as part of the Michigan Assured Admission Pact (MAAP), which will begin guaranteeing admissions for qualifying students during the fall 2024 admission cycle,” Ono wrote.
Joe Vainner, U-M Flint director of admissions, wrote in an email to The Michigan Daily that their admissions team hopes the MAAP will provide motivated high school students with the confidence to apply to college.
“Our hope is that qualified students who may have assumed wrongly that they aren’t admissible to UM-Flint will now have the confidence to apply, and ultimately, enroll,” Vainner wrote.
In an email to The Daily, Melissa Stone, U-M Dearborn vice provost for enrollment management, said Dearborn’s campus hopes the MAAP will help them achieve long-term enrollment goals by showing prospective students that college can be accessible and that the criteria for admissions are clear.
“MAAP may assist with enrollment goals but it is not a quick solution to grow enrollment,” Stone wrote. “It is a way to clearly communicate with prospective students about college accessibility and be transparent about the admissions process.”
In an interview with The Daily, U-M Flint junior Sami Kotob said amid rising enrollment at U-M Flint, he thinks MAAP will keep enrollment rates from dropping in the near future.
“Flint received its first increase in enrollment in the past 10 years after undertaking admissions policies similar to the direct admissions pathway,” Kotob said. “(MAAP) should have a positive effect on enrollment at U-M Flint and this would be very helpful in combating current challenges in enrollment at colleges throughout Michigan. U-M Flint is serving as a counterexample to this narrative of decreasing college population.”
According to Vainner, one of the goals of joining MAAP is to help more students from underrepresented backgrounds apply to and attend college.
“There’s good evidence that students from underrepresented backgrounds are less likely to apply to college and, if they do apply, are more likely to do so with fewer schools,” Vainner wrote. “My expectation is that more underrepresented students will view UM-Flint as an option and feel that they belong on our campus.”
Similarly to U-M Flint, Stone wrote in an email to The Daily that U-M Dearborn is participating in MAAP to create a more accessible pathway to college for in-state students and help the state reach its goal of 60% by 2030. The goal, set by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, is to have 60% of Michiganders have a skill certificate or college degree by 2030.
“UM-Dearborn elected to participate in the MAAP because it aligned with our mission to make a Michigan degree accessible to qualified students with varying financial means,” Stone wrote. “Participating shows our support for the state’s 60% by 30 initiative to close the skills gap by increasing the college-going rate of students in our community.”
Jacob Lederman, U-M Flint associate professor of sociology, wrote in an email to The Daily that, while he agrees that MAAP is a good opportunity for increasing access to higher education, he believes U-M Flint and U-M Dearborn need to provide additional access to financial support for new students as well.
“The MAAP sounds like an excellent opportunity to increase access to higher ed across our state,” Lederman wrote. “Access, however, is also about financial support. As currently implemented on the Flint and Dearborn campuses, income-eligible students would not qualify for the Go Blue Guarantee if they have the minimum MAAP GPA. Our institution should strive to improve access both in terms of admissions and financial support.”
Currently, there is a minimum requirement of a 3.5 GPA to qualify for the Go Blue Guarantee, a program for need-based financial aid for in-state students, meaning that MAAP students who have between a 3.0 and a 3.49 would not be able to qualify for free tuition at U-M Flint and Dearborn. Lederman wrote that the University’s financial aid programs should accommodate students’ financial circumstances as much as possible.
“For that financial support to reach students, we need programs like the Go Blue Guarantee to be well-funded and take into account the academic challenges faced by students from less advantaged backgrounds,” Lederman wrote.
Kotob said he feels MAAP is overall a positive policy for prospective college students and the participating schools.
“I think (MAAP) is a very positive thing,” Kotob said. “Or at least it won’t hurt U-M Flint. It can only bring positive change to (the campus).”
Staff Reporter Miles Anderson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.