Record numbers of students in Michigan are applying for financial aid --- and college and university administrators say the benefits are easy to see.
More than 310,000 Michigan residents filled out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid in the 2011-2012 school year, a 53 percent jump from three years ago, experts said.
The growth helped push the amount of federal grant money for low-income students from Michigan to record highs, providing a boost for students who otherwise might have been unable to afford a college education.
In the 2010-2011 academic year, Michigan students were awarded $1.1 billion in Pell Grant dollars, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. Pell Grants help cover tuition for low-income students.