2019 Kids Count Data reveals college readiness levels dropping

Newly published data reveals decrease in college-readiness of Michigan high school graduates

April 25, 2019 - LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) expressed their support for the Michigan League for Public Policy’s (MLPP) 2019 Kids Count Data Book, which revealed the percent of Michigan high school graduates ready for college dropped from 34.9% to 34.6% (from 2016 to 2018).  College readiness is measured by College Board SAT test scores.

Since MCAN’s inception in 2010, the organization has been focused on college-readiness, particularly among low-income, first-generation college-going students, and students of color.  The report states, “…students from families with low incomes and students of color face additional barriers.”  These students typically do not have parental support to pursue higher education, role models they can relate to, or access to college readiness resources such as a dedicated college adviser or early college credit earning options.

The 2019 MLPP report highlights the five best and worst counties in Michigan for college readiness.  It also showcases that 43 (52%) of Michigan’s 82 counties improved in college readiness.

“This report is a reminder of the critical work that is necessary to turn around educational outcomes in the state of Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, interim executive director of MCAN.  “We must make college readiness a priority if we want to increase our higher education outcomes. Governor Whitmer just announced her goal of 60% of Michigan residents holding a certificate or degree in her State of the State address. MCAN has been working toward this goal since our inception, and to get there, college readiness needs to be dramatically moving in the opposite direction that this report indicates.”

The Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable (MIHEART), convened by MCAN, also highlights college readiness data in its Fall 2018 Total Talentreport.  That report provides graphs on college readiness that show the equity gaps among races and “economically disadvantaged” populations. 

To increase these SAT scores, MCAN recommends:

  • Students participate in early postsecondary credit earning opportunities.
  • Students take advantage of resources like the Khan Academy.
  • Colleges and universities address remedial coursework and associated policies.

The MLPP report draws attention to the investment necessary to improve these metrics.  MCAN will to collaborate with MLPP to increase college readiness through advocacy and policy initiatives.


About Michigan College Access Network 
As the leader in the state’s college access movement, MCAN’s 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 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41 percent in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 45 percent as of 2019.  It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit 


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

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