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MICU releases briefing on veteran access to higher ed in Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                 Contact: Robert LeFevre

May 17, 2017                                                                              517-372-9160



Michigan Veterans Benefit from Private, Non-Profit

College and University Offerings

New Report Details Strong Participation in MICU Postsecondary Programs


When seeking a four-year degree, more Michigan veterans choose higher education opportunities within the state’s independent, non-profit college and university sector, according to a new report issued today at the state capitol.


Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities (MICU) released the findings of a recent review showing 39 percent of veterans enrolled in the state’s baccalaureate programs studied at private colleges and universities during 2015. Veteran enrollment in these institutions increased 21 percent between 2014 and 2015 compared to a decline in enrollment nationally.


“This growth occurred despite a prevailing statewide trend that shows fewer Michigan veterans are pursuing baccalaureate and graduate degrees,” said Robert LeFevre, MICU president. “Our state’s higher education attainment among veterans is lower and slower growing than the national and Michigan non-veteran averages, but MICU member institutions are bucking the trend and delivering very promising results.”

According to MICU’s findings:    


  • In Michigan, approximately 21 percent of veterans have a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to nearly 28 percent of the national veteran population. Michigan’s non-veteran population has a slightly higher than 28 percent attainment rate.
  • Michigan’s veterans enroll in higher education programs at less than half the rate of veterans nationally. The state’s veteran enrollment rate is just 2.6 percent compared to 5.7 percent nationwide.
  • During 2015, 2,069 post-9/11 veterans were enrolled in Michigan’s independent, non-profit colleges and universities. Of these, 1,872 were undergraduate students.
  • Four in ten veterans enrolled in baccalaureate programs in Michigan choose independent colleges and universities.
  • All 25 of MICU’s member institutions participate in the Yellow Ribbon program or have special programming designed for veterans.


“There are many different reasons why a veteran might choose an independent institution for his or her education,” said Davenport University president Dr. Richard Pappas, who also serves as MICU board president. “Academic quality, accessibility, personal experience, the high touch nature of our institutions, and ‘fit’ all play a role. What is clear, however, is that independent, non-profit colleges and universities in Michigan are doing a great job at connecting with this important population of students.”


Pappas and LeFevre both extended their thanks to U.S. Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), a Michigan independent college alumnus (Alma College, ‘80), whose ideas and questions helped prompt the MICU study.


“Michigan’s veterans have bravely served our country in uniform, and they deserve access to high quality educational opportunities that will help improve their transition to civilian life,” Senator Peters said. “As this report shows, Michigan’s colleges and universities are making important strides toward providing veterans with opportunities for higher education, and there is still room for additional growth to help put more Michigan veterans on the path toward a degree and a successful civilian career.”


MICU’s full report is available at http://micolleges.org/higher-education-access-veterans-michigan-briefing-may-2017


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Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities represent the state’s not-for-profit independent colleges and universities. MICU’s goal is to increase awareness of the impact MICU members have on higher education in Michigan. With over 110,000 students at member institutions, Michigan independent colleges and universities educate approximately 20 percent of all college students in the state.

MICU serves its members through government relations, public policy development and advocacy.