In a bid to broaden college access and boost the state’s lagging economy, Democrats in Michigan have proposed a first-of-its-kind entitlement program aimed at giving many young people a free ride through college at taxpayers’ expense.

The proposal, dubbed “the 2020 Plan,” is estimated to cost at least $1.8 billion each year and would offer some students free tuition throughout their college careers at Michigan’s 15 public colleges and universities, with awards based on how long students have lived in the state. Those who spend all of their K-12 years in Michigan schools would be eligible for the full amount, the average tuition rate across the state university system, which is currently about $9,500 per year.

Students attending a public college with tuition rates above that average would be responsible for the difference.

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