By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – A statewide discussion is underway on how students pay for tuition at public, private and community colleges. College affordability, an ongoing subject of debate, gained considerable momentum when President Barack Obama highlighted the topic while speaking at the University of Michigan last year. And a State of the State Survey from Michigan State University found that while 95 percent of residents believe a college education is “very important” for success, affordability is a barrier for many. The report, “A Look at the College-Going Culture of Michigan Adults,” indicated that 67 percent of residents “somewhat disagree” or “strongly disagree” that a college education is reasonably affordable for people in the state. Brandy Johnson, executive director of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), said she was thrilled by such ambition but discouraged with the financial struggle students and their families face.