LIVONIA (WWJ/AP) – The University of Toledo plans to offer four-year degrees starting next year at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, officials said.

The move is the next step in a campaign by the Ohio school to get Michigan students to consider it for education, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs said the aim is to “blur the line between Michigan and Ohio.”

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“We’ve been very interested in students from Michigan for a number of years,” Jacobs said. “We have a common economic basis. We have a common culture.”

An agreement places University of Toledo school in competition with the University of Michigan’s Dearborn campus and Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti for students who normally transfer to them from Schoolcraft College, a two-year school.

Under the partnership, Detroit-based Wayne State University also will offer four-year programs at Schoolcraft College’s campus. The University of Toledo plans to offer in-state tuition rate for the classes, roughly 50 percent less than the price for its out-of-state tuition.

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Last year at this time, Schoolcraft officials were hoping they would be able to offer four-year degrees of their own, especially in nursing, a high-interest field where they already offer a two-year degree. But legislation allowing them to do so stalled in the Michigan Legislature.

“This is an opportunity for students to get everything from an associate degree to a possible master’s degree right here in Livonia,” said Schoolcraft College President Conway A. Jeffress.

The University of Toledo and Wayne State University plan to hold classes in a building on the edge of Schoolcraft’s Livonia campus. Under plans from the schools, degrees in business, nursing, engineering, criminal justice will be offered at the start.

“Many of our students are transfer students,” said Wayne State University President M. Roy Wilson. “We try to make it pretty convenient for them to come to Wayne State. This partnership will really help with this. As we go forward, this will really help students who want to dual enroll.”

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