Corky in Lansing

Corky the Cardinal takes the Capitol!

Did you know that Michigan independent colleges and universities educate approximately 15 percent of all college students in the state? Or that nearly 100,00 students are enrolled in the 26 member institutions?

MICU Advocacy DayConcordia University Ann Arbor is a proud member of Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU), representing Michigan’s not-for-profit independent colleges and universities.

On September 18, 2019, many of the 26 member institutions of MICU gathered at the Michigan state capitol in Lansing, Michigan for the 2019 MICU Advocacy Day, an organized effort to advocate for student financial aid and meet with legislators. Five staff members—and Corky the Cardinal— participated in this year’s event had the opportunity to meet with CUAA’s State Rep. Yousef Rabhi and Senator Jeff Irwin.

“Our presence at the capitol and face time with legislators is crucial to the continued support and advocacy for Concordia University Ann Arbor, especially when it comes to financial aid for our students,” said Vice President of Administration Rev. Dr. Ryan Peterson. “When we share our students’ stories and how their lives are being impacted by their education at Concordia, we are able to personally let the legislators know that their support is making a difference.”

According to data collected by MICU in 2018, 21% of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state of Michigan are from MICU member institutions while 2% of the Michigan high education budget is dedicated to MICU member schools.

MICU Advocacy DayOne of the most noteworthy forms of financial aid support from the state government is the Michigan Tuition Grant (MTG), established to provide Michigan residents increased access to attend college in Michigan. The MTG is available to undergraduate students and is based on financial need, making college a reality for nearly 20,000 students currently enrolled in MICU member institutions.

Currently at about $2,400 per student, about 1 out of every 4 independent undergraduates from Michigan qualify for the MTG. At Concordia specifically, that number is closer to 30% of students.

“As we encourage the legislature to continue supporting and investing in the MTG, we are advocating for the opportunity to welcome even more students onto Concordia’s campus and prepare them for lives of service in our churches and communities, near and far,” said Peterson.

— Rachel Thoms served on Concordia University's Strategic Communications team from 2015-2022. Any inquiries about this story can be sent to

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