LANSING, Mich. — For the 11th year, Senator Rebekah Warren (D–Ann Arbor) is hosting a scholarship award contest to encourage area students to pursue higher education. Two graduating seniors who reside in the 18th Senate District will each be awarded $1,000 to be used for attending a university, college, technical or trade school.

 “Too many of our students struggle to afford the higher education necessary to be successful in so many fields today,” Sen. Warren said. “Improving access to quality education must remain a top priority as education is a great way to advance equality, foster tolerance and promote economic mobility in our state.”

 Michigan continues to lag behind the national average in need-based financial aid, while tuition continues to more than double, when adjusted for inflation, over the last few decades. Approximately 63 percent of Michigan college graduates are burdened by debt, and nearly 40 percent of these talented individuals leave the state post-graduation.

 “Our students have been left struggling with lifelong debt because of constant cuts to higher education,” Sen. Warren said. “Reversing this trend should be a top priority, and I will continue to maintain my commitment to helping the students of my district make affordable higher education a reality — while advocating on behalf of all of Michigan’s students at the Capitol.”

 The scholarships are funded by the Rebekah Warren Envision Michigan Fund, which was established to better promote progressive policies, educational opportunities and active citizenship in Michigan.

 High school counselors and principals in the 18th Senate District have been notified about the scholarship and have copies of the necessary application form. Nomination and application forms are available to download online at http://senatedems.com/warren/envision-michigan-scholarship/.

 The nomination form is due by March 20, 2017, and the application form is due by April 17, 2017.

 For more information, please call Sen. Warren’s office at (517) 373-2406 or email senrwarren@senate.michigan.gov.