College Application Week 2015 Has Arrived

The best week of the year is here!

Carrollton candy 637x800 CAW2015 1
Candy-bar prizes are awarded at Carrollton High School. A college-themed sign is on display at Fowlerville High School. 

Michigan College Application Week, Oct. 26 – 30, is an initiative in which schools set aside time and space during the school day to give every graduating senior the opportunity to apply to college. Now taking place in over 40 percent of Michigan high schools, College Application Week has truly become a statewide movement. (It even brought so much traffic to our MCAN and KH2Go websites that they crashed!) 

Michigan College Access Network, Local College Access Networks, and high schools have spent months preparing for this week. At the state level, MCAN provides templates and trainings, how-to materials, and a variety of other resources – but high schools have raised the bar in terms of creativity and we want to highlight some of the awesome ideas we have seen so far! Rather than spotlighting just one high school, we’ll share a compilation of some of the ideas we have seen this week.

Schools are finding great ways to involve teachers in their CAW activities. Many teachers are encouraged to hang “ask me about it” fliers outside of their classroom doors, or to spend a few minutes before each class period talking about their college experience. One high school worked with an art teacher to have students design informational college posters in class – getting both students and teachers excited about upcoming CAW events.

Numerous schools are also using incentives to help motivate and encourage students to apply. Some schools choose to seek donations for large items that can be raffled off to students who complete applications. We have also found there is a lot of power in a candy bar or cookie for each student who applies! Students who submitted applications prior to CAW can still receive incentives for participation by wearing college gear, answering college-trivia questions, guessing the school associated with a fight song playing over the intercom, or by taking quizzes about college-going preparations.

 Wyandotte Pumpkins MSU
Roosevelt High School captures the excitement of College Application Week and Halloween by displaying college-themed pumpkins.

In addition to the application component, one major purpose of College Application Week is to celebrate the application process and the students who take part in it! This is where schools really take it to the next level – some examples of activities we’ve seen are face painting, door-decorating contests,  and even a college-food relay race, where “teams of four will compete to see who can eat a series of 'college foods' (Ramen noodles, Slim Jim, soda/coffee, etc.) to simulate life on the go at school.”

Finally, CAW site coordinators have figured out where their students are and how to reach them most effectively. College Application Week Snapchat stories are generating a TON of excitement in the MCAN office (and definitely at schools too), and Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have been blowing up with the #IApplied and #ReachHigher hashtags!

College Application Week always seems to sneak up on us, but as usual schools are so prepared and so impressive! We could not be more grateful for our partnership with these wonderful, creative people – college-going culture is off the charts in Michigan.


Christ Taylor headshot 2013Author: Christi Taylor, MCAN director of statewide initiatives and special projects

Posted: Oct. 28, 2015

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