Siena Heights University (SHU) announced plans to expand the Brain Gain Promise Tuition-Free Guarantee to all eligible students in Michigan. The announcement came from SHU President Douglas B. Palmer during his inaugural address on March 15, 2024, and it adds to the program already offered to students in Lenawee County.  


The Brain Gain Promise, officially announced in January 2024, encourages more Michiganders to consider earning a college degree in Michigan and eventually to remain as part of the state’s workforce. With many skilled professionals leaving Michigan to pursue economically advantageous opportunities in other states, Siena Heights is looking to do its part in remedying the brain drain phenomenon. By increasing Michigan students’ access to quality and affordable higher education, Siena Heights hopes to boost the connections and opportunities that come through internships, experiential learning, service learning, and the curricular and co-curricular benefits of a liberal arts education.

“Siena Heights University prides itself on being a good community partner. It is part of our commitment as an institution based on the tradition and heritage of the Adrian Dominican Sisters,” Dr. Palmer said. “We know that Michigan families are hurting, and we want to provide an opportunity to get an enriching college education while being financially feasible.”

To be eligible for the full tuition discount, after all federal and state aid has been applied, a student must be a Michigan resident with a total household income of less than $65,000. Students with a household income of $80,000 or less will pay less than $10,000 a year, including all federal and state eligibility. Additionally, the student must maintain full-time enrollment status for both Fall and Winter semesters and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by July 1. Siena Heights will begin honoring this tuition-free guarantee in the 2024-25 academic year.

With the relaunch of the FAFSA form, Dr. Palmer wanted to alleviate the pressure on prospective students to make an enrollment decision. “Michigan Student Aid recently extended the FAFSA deadline to July 1,” he remarked. “We didn’t want incoming students to stress about the potential costs they might have, so a tuition-free guarantee provides them a clear answer as to what they’ll be paying.”

Further information on the Brain Gain Promise can be found here. To apply, please visit here and direct any questions to or 517-264-7180.