Press Releases

Next article

Next

College Cash Campaign kicks off statewide with support from Gov. Whitmer

Campaign aims for a 75% FAFSA completion rate for 2020 high school graduates

December 2, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. – Michigan College Access Network’s annual College Cash Campaign received a major boost with the announcement of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s statewide “Governor’s FAFSA Challenge.” The governor is challenging every high school to increase their FAFSA completion rate among graduates of the Class of 2020. The governor announced her challenge on Dec. 2. Michigan’s 2019 FAFSA completion rate was 55.9%, which was a decrease of 0.7% from the previous year. MCAN seeks to achieve a statewide FAFSA completion rate of 75% in 2020. 

The goal of this campaign and the governor’s challenge is to increase the number of students completing the FAFSA and scholarship applications. The Michigan College Access Network coordinates with participating schools to encourage support around completing FAFSA and scholarship applications from November through March. The promotion aims to help eligible students find financial aid to pursue education beyond high school.

It is estimated that nearly 25,000 Michigan students eligible for Pell grants did not file the FAFSA last year, leaving nearly $100 million in Pell grant funding unspent. 

“Every student deserves a path to a quality, affordable postsecondary education, and filling out FAFSA forms can make an enormous difference for families across the state,” Gov. Whitmer said. “I just finished helping my daughter fill out her FAFSA application while she applied to colleges. It’s simple and can help students everywhere get on a path to a quality postsecondary education. I’m excited to partner with MCAN as they work to spread the word about FAFSA and hope high schools everywhere will accept the challenge and aim for a 75% rate.”

It is expected nearly 500 high schools across the state will actively participate in the campaign and challenge.  Every high school in Michigan will be able to monitor their progress using the Michigan FAFSA tracker.

“The Governor’s FAFSA Challenge” includes student incentives, framed tributes from the executive office, social media recognition and awards to high schools.  At the end of the campaign, three overall winning high schools will have an opportunity to host Gov. Whitmer, Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and other Michigan celebrities as their commencement or Decision Day speaker. Ten geographic high school winners will have the opportunity for a group of high school seniors to meet the governor and tour the Capitol.

“Perceived affordability is one of the biggest myths students encounter on their journey to furthering their education,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “Applying for financial aid is an important step to helping students navigate the college and financial application process. We appreciate the governor’s recognition of and commitment to making postsecondary education accessible.”

The Michigan College Cash Campaign is a part of several statewide initiatives that help students navigate the college-going process during their senior year.

The FAFSA is a free application that is the only way for students to access federal and state financial aid. In addition, many colleges and universities require the FAFSA for institutional and merit-based aid. The FAFSA helps students who may not know how to locate financial resources. The form determines the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. This is used by the federal government, colleges and universities to determine eligibility for grants or loans. Filing the FAFSA is considered a leading indicator of whether students will pursue college.

“The Governor’s FAFSA Challenge” is supported by Michigan Department of Education, the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals, Michigan Student Scholarships and Grants, the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity and Michigan College Access Network.

More information about the Michigan College Cash Campaign is here.

ABOUT MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a postsecondary certificate, bringing Michigan’s official 2019 attainment rate to 45%. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: 
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 
517-816-7774

Download Press Release (PDF)

 

Michigan College Access Network invests $10,000 to support student success efforts among state’s public universities

Grant will help launch the Student Success Innovations Exchange

November 11, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network is investing $10,000 into a publicly accessible, online portal that will feature effective, innovative and replicable student success initiatives being utilized at the state’s public universities. The portal is being launched in early 2020 by the Michigan Association for State Universities (MASU). The website will be the first of its kind for Michigan’s public universities, and one of the first for all state higher education governing and coordinating boards in the United States.

The Student Success Innovations Exchange, published on masu.org, will showcase policies, projects, programs and practices throughout the state to encourage replication among the state universities and other postsecondary providers. This tool is based on a successful national model created by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

A primary focus of student success programs and initiatives at Michigan’s state universities lies with students from underrepresented backgrounds, including those from low-income backgrounds, first-generation college students, students of color, military veterans and incarcerated students.   

“Assisting these populations in achieving greater levels of college access and degree completion is both a moral and economic imperative,” said Dan Hurley, CEO of MASU.

“MCAN looks forward to supporting this effort that will elevate best practices in student success, which ultimately leads to degree completion,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “By increasing knowledge of effective success work among the higher education community, students and our state will benefit.”

“The MASU Student Success Innovations Exchange website will serve as a high-value source for institutions to promote, share and replicate programs that have demonstrated success in increasing student outcomes, especially retention and degree completion rates,” said Dan Hurley, CEO of MASU. “This will be particularly helpful among underserved and under-represented student populations.”

The goal in launching the exchange is to showcase at least 30 initiatives among the state public universities that can serve as effective models. 

MCAN’s Innovative Program Grants are designed to fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment and completion in local communities across the state. Since these grants were introduced in 2016, MCAN has awarded more than $345,000 in 35 different Innovative Program Grants to organizations throughout Michigan.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45% as of 2019. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE UNIVERSITIES

Founded in 1952 as the Council of Presidents, the Michigan Association of State Universities serves as the coordinating board for Michigan’s 15 public universities, providing advocacy and fostering policy to maximize the collective value these institutions provide in serving the public interest and the state of Michigan. The organization engages in state and federal policy development, research and policy analysis, advocacy, convenings, and an extensive student success portfolio of activities. The work of the association is carried out with the assistance of an extensive structure of 18 committees representing key institutional stakeholder groups.

Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
Email: 
christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 
(517) 816-7774  

 

Download Press Release (PDF)

 

 

 

25 Michigan high schools receive MCAN ‘Reach Higher High School’ grants

Funds help schools build a college-going culture, improve college enrollment and completion outcomes

November 7, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) announced today that $175,000 in grant funding has been awarded to 25 high schools across the state to improve college enrollment and completion outcomes. The schools received between $5,000 and $10,000 in grants to focus on creating and sustaining a college-going culture in an effort to improve postsecondary education outcomes. Since the Reach Higher grant program’s inception in 2015, MCAN has awarded more than $1.6 million to high schools.

“These schools play an important role in sparking change and facilitating systems change necessary to increase college readiness, participation and completion within their communities,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN.

Year 1: Reach Higher High School Grant

Grant funding supports assembling a Postsecondary Advisory Council, coordinating a suite of college access interventions, assessing the college-going culture and school counseling capacity, and collecting and analyzing disaggregated student outcomes data.

Year 2:  Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Grant funding supports the continuation of the efforts in Year 1 and represent an ongoing commitment to this work.

[No Year 3 Grants were awarded in this cycle.]

Year 4: Reach Higher System Impact Renewal Grant

Grant funding supports the continuation of all postsecondary efforts. These high schools continue to systematize, scale or sustain their bold systems change initiative project(s) from previous years.

High schools were selected based on a competitive grant review process. Schools receiving the Reach Higher grants address five essential elements of a high school strategy aimed at increasing college enrollment, including:

1.     Postsecondary Advisory Council
Reach Higher High Schools will bring together a team of stakeholders to set the school’s vision and college access strategy. The PAC will meet regularly to strategically develop and implement the school’s college access programming, collect and analyze data, and develop and implement data-driven collaborative action plans.

2.     Linked College Access Events
Reach Higher High Schools will host a linked triad of college access events – Michigan College Month, College Cash Campaign and College Decision Day – prioritizing the development of a coordinated, strategic effort to execute targeted interventions throughout an entire year.

3.     College-going Culture Assessment
Reach Higher High Schools will conduct the Postsecondary Success Asset Mapping (PSAM) survey to assess the building’s college-going culture in five asset areas: transition knowledge and skills, content knowledge, learning skills and techniques, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and school-based systems.

4.     School Counseling Self-assessment
Reach Higher High Schools will assess the current effectiveness of its college and career readiness counseling, support and programming from two perspectives: staffing and capacity, and college-going culture and programs.

5.     Student Outcome Data Analysis
Reach Higher High schools will utilize publicly available data sources to collect, disaggregate and analyze data on key college and career readiness student outcome metrics. Findings will be used to develop collaborative action plans.

ABOUT MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a postsecondary certificate, bringing Michigan’s official 2019 attainment rate to 45%. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

###

 

The following is a list of high schools receiving Reach Higher High School grants.

 

Michigan Region

Name of School

Type of Grant

Metro Detroit

Pontiac Academy for Excellence

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Hamtramck High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Redford Union High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Thumb Region

Bad Axe High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Bay City Western High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Imlay City High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Marlette High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

WAY Academy (Flint)

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Southeast

Arbor Preparatory High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Bridge Alternative High School (Brighton)

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Camden-Frontier High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Early College Alliance (Ypsilanti)

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

FlexTech High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Kensington Woods Schools

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Michigan Islamic Academy

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Southwest

Buchanan High School

Year 1: Reach Higher Grant

Hastings High School

Year 4: Reach Higher System Impact Renewal Grant

Lawton High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Three Rivers High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Evart High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Inland Lakes High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Morley-Stanwood High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

West Michigan

CA Frost Middle/High Environmental Science Academy

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Innovation Central High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

Upper Peninsula

Sault Area High School

Year 2: Reach Higher Renewal Grant

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Christopher Tremblay
Email: christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: (517) 816-7774  

Download Press Release (PDF)

 

Michigan College Access Network convenes the Michigan Postsecondary Strategy Institute

Institute helps school districts create successful postsecondary education pathways for students

November 4, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has launched the Michigan Postsecondary Strategy Institute (MPSI), an initiative to help school districts develop internal capacity to support every student toward attaining a postsecondary certificate or degree.  

In collaboration with the National Postsecondary Strategy Institute and The Kresge Foundation, MCAN will serve more than 20 school teams in developing actionable strategies for their districts. The MPSI takes place Nov. 4–5, 2019, in East Lansing, Michigan.

Built to empower teams to employ a holistic strategy approach, the MPSI integrates three critical components for postsecondary success:

  • Using a district’s postsecondary framework and strategy, school leadership will make a clear plan for increasing student postsecondary outcomes that is tied to measurable data points.
  • By developing a data strategy, districts will connect student information with state datasets, analyzing data by subgroups, and using data to identify where strategies need to be developed.
  • By engaging counselors as leaders, schools will empower counselors to lead the postsecondary access work within their schools, engaging partners in the process.

“This powerful initiative aligns with our goal of ‘Sixty by 30’ and increases college access by strategically supporting Michigan’s school leadership,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “We look forward to seeing how nationally tested strategies focused on policy and practice changes can be implemented to support every Michigan student on their postsecondary education pathway.”

Following is a list of schools participating in the initiative.

Alpena Public Schools

Bath Community Schools

Chandler Park Academy High School

Cornerstone Health & Technology High School

Escanaba High School

Harbor Beach Community Schools

Hastings Area Schools

Henry Ford Academy University Prep Art & Design

Holton Public Schools

Howell Public Schools

Jalen Rose Leadership Academy

Madison High School

Manistee Catholic Central School

Maple Valley Jr./Sr. High School

Martin Luther King Jr. Senior High School

Milan High School

Muskegon Heights Academy

Northwest High School

Owosso High School

Pellston High School

Pershing High School

Plainwell High School

Public Schools of Petoskey

ABOUT MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN has a mission to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7% of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41% in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4% of Michiganders have a postsecondary certificate, bringing Michigan’s official 2019 attainment rate to 45%. MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60% by 2030. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

ABOUT NATIONAL POSTSECONDARY STRATEGY INSTITUTE

NPSI supports districts through learning opportunities and intensive, hands-on technical assistance. Its services are strategically developed to meet school districts where they are in their efforts to increase students’ postsecondary outcomes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: Christopher(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 
(517) 816-7774

Download Press Release (PDF)

Michigan College Access Network | 200 N Washington Square, Suite 210, Lansing, MI 48933 (map) | (517) 316-1713 Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Privacy