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$10,000 Competition Promotes Plan to Offer Free Tuition for Michigan Students

High school seniors are invited to enter #mi2020 scholarship contest while Senate Democrats prepare to introduce legislation this week to offer free in-state tuition.

High school seniors are being encouraged to enter a new $10,000 scholarship competition as a means to promote a state Democrat-backed plan called "Michigan 2020" that would provide free in-state college tuition for every Michigan student.

The college affordability plan, announced in January and set to be introduced later this week with approval from Michigan Senate Democrats, would give each graduate of a Michigan high school an education grant of approximately $9,500 each year for in-state university or community college tuition. The estimated $1.8 billion proposal would be funded by putting a term limit on corporate tax credits and charging state sales tax to online retailers.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced the #mi2020 Scholarship Competition, which will provide the winner with a year’s worth of tuition, up to $10,000, at any of Michigan’s community colleges or public universities. To enter, students are asked to submit a short video at www.mi2020video.com that explains the importance of investing in higher education and how the Michigan 2020 Plan to offer free college tuition to all students is the right investment to make.

The video competition is one part social media marketing, one part crowd-sourcing, and an attempt to rally students and their parents around the Democrats' legislative agenda.

“A college education is a gateway to success for Michigan students and a key to getting our state back on track, and this scholarship will provide one student with that opportunity until we can provide it to every graduate in Michigan,” Hedlun Walton, a Michigan guidance counselor, said in a news release announcing the competition.

More on the scholarship competition

The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition is open to all current Michigan high school seniors, whether they are attending public school, private school or are home-schooled. The winner will receive up to $10,000 for his or her first year’s expenses at a public university or community college in Michigan.

Submissions are due by April 20. Online voting will begin April 23 with the top 20 videos moving on to the finals.

For more information on the #mi2020 Scholarship Competition go to www.mi2020video.com.

Hey Royal Oak students, let us know if you do create and submit a video and we'll share it on Patch, too!

– The Huffington Post Detroit contributed to this report.

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