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MCAN announces partnership with national scholarship search platform, Scholly

Oct. 22, LANSING, MICH. — The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has teamed up with national scholarship search platform, Scholly.  This newly formed partnership supports MCAN’s statewide College Cash Campaign initiative. MCAN’s College Cash Campaign is an initiative for Michigan schools to set a bold completion goal for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and assist students with the completion of other financial aid and scholarship applications between November 1 and March 1.

This arrangement with Scholly is a direct benefit for Michigan’s high school seniors, especially those students seeking scholarships to pay for college.  A total of 10,000 Michigan high school seniors will be given access to this tool. High school representatives from nearly 70 Michigan high schools claimed the available slots in just 10 days, an indication of the popularity and need for this service. As of October 19, only several hundred access codes remain available.

Students from participating College Cash Campaign schools will have access to a Michigan microsite and code to download the mobile application or access the tool online for free.  More information about the tool is available online at myscholly.com.  The mobile version of the app is available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.

 “This partnership with Scholly is an incentive for students to apply for scholarships in order to reduce the college affordability barrier, which is the most cited barrier to college enrollment, persistence, and completion,” said Jamie Jacobs, senior director of high school innovation for MCAN.

HOW SCHOLLY WORKS

Scholly is a mobile and web app that connects students to millions of dollars in college scholarship money. Scholly’s scholarship-matching platform connects students and their families with actual scholarship opportunities. The app turns the search process from months into minutes! The user-friendly platform also provides subscribers with Scholly Editor, a tool that uses artificial intelligence technology help students instantly proofread and edit scholarship essays, college admissions essays, and other writing assignments. Students can also manage deadlines, track progress, and ultimately secure the money they need to accomplish their educational goals.

“Scholly’s motto is Opportunity for All,” said Azani Pinkney, chief of staff at Scholly. “We are excited to be partnering with the Michigan College Access Network and their College Cash Campaign to create educational opportunity for students across the state of Michigan and help them find the resources they need to pay for college.”

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ABOUT SCHOLLY

Schollywas created by Christopher Gray, who won $1.3 million in scholarships through hard work, grit, and determination. Realizing how broken and time consuming the search process was, Gray and his team created Schollyto allow students pursuing their higher education to search for scholarship money with ease. Since its inception in 2014, Schollyhas helped 3 million students find over 100 million dollars in scholarships. See the Scholly platform video here and the editor video here.

ABOUT THE MICHIGAN COLLEGE ACCESS NETWORK (MCAN)

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 seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent as of 2018. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: 517-816-7774

Download Press Release (PDF) 

High Schools Across State Kick Off Michigan College Month

Hundreds of high schools host college application and financial aid campaigns throughout October

 Oct. 1, 2018 - LANSING, MICH. — Michigan College Month will kick off October 1 with nearly 350 high schools participating in events statewide. Michigan College Month is part of a larger, national initiative that encourages every graduating senior to submit at least one college application and complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by the end of the month.

High schools across the state will host concurrent college application and financial aid campaigns throughout the month. This is the third annual Michigan College Month, declared by Gov. Rick Snyder.

“The economy and world continue to evolve and education beyond high school is crucial to position Michigan students for success,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “College degrees and quality credentials are an essential tool to succeed in a global economy.”

Hundreds of schools throughout the state will be designated host sites where activities will take place to guide high school seniors through completing a college application or applying for financial aid. Many Michigan colleges will also collaborate with high schools to waive application fees or other financial barriers that may hold students back from pursuing education beyond high school.

Resources and materials will be provided to school counselors and educators by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) to guarantee that schools are fully prepared to provide additional assistance to students over the coming months. In addition, schools will be dedicating classroom time to isolating the different parts of the application process so that seniors have a clear step-by-step understanding of how to determine what schools fit their individual needs.

“Navigating the college-going process can feel intimidating—especially for students who would be the first in their families to attend college,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “We want every high school senior to believe they’re college material by supporting them as they weigh their options. From choosing a school, to submitting at least one college application and applying for financial aid—we want to make sure they have the support they need to succeed, every step of the way.”

After modifying the initiative’s duration from one week in October to the entire month, the program structure has granted schools with the flexibility to schedule resources based on their needs in order to best serve students and families. During the 2017 Michigan College Month, more than 51,000 college applications were submitted by more than 32,000 high school seniors who participated in Michigan College Month events.  

 

“Since we kicked off our efforts in 2011, we have continued to see the needle move to increase the number of students pursuing postsecondary education,” Johnson said. “We will continue to grow our efforts to provide an educated and sustainable workforce for Michigan, and to make a difference in the lives of Michigan’s students.”

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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 seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent as of 2018. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: 517-816-7774

Download Press Release (PDF) 

Coalition of Business, Military, Law Enforcement and Education Leaders Urge Legislative Support to Grow Talent in Michigan

Leaders calling for legislative action to increase number of Michigan residents attaining education beyond high school for the jobs of tomorrow

Sept. 25, 2018 - LANSING, Mich. - Business, military, law enforcement, higher education and government leaders today called for greater investment in education beyond high school to equip Michigan residents with the skills and credentials needed to fill the state’s talent gap.

The report, Total Talent: Equipping All Michiganders with the Education and Skills Needed for Success in the Economy of Today and Tomorrow, was released today by the Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable (MIHEART) to urge the incoming Legislature and the next Governor to make talent attainment a top public policy priority.

The “Total Talent” report can be downloaded at http://www.micollegeaccess.org/advocacy/miheart.

“Progress has been made, but Michigan still has work to do if we want to keep a competitive edge when it comes to filling the need for talent”, said Sandy Baruah, President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber. “The time has come to provide all Michiganders 21st century skills to fill the job needs of tomorrow.”

The report states in detail that while Michigan has increased its rate of postsecondary credential attainment to almost 44 percent of the population, states and communities with higher rates are reaping greater economic gains in the form of creating new jobs and attracting new employers. Talent attainment and education beyond high school affect employers, law enforcement and the military.

"Our nation’s military also faces a skills gap. Today, more than half of young Michiganders are ineligible to serve partly due to poor academics. By 2025, over 60 percent of Michigan jobs will require some type of postsecondary degree or credential,” said Major General (Ret.) Thomas G. Cutler, USAF. “Michigan has considerable work to do to ensure it can field this well-qualified workforce."

"We partner with and rely on our community colleges and universities to provide the quality officers we depend on and to update the skills and abilities of our talent pool,” said Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, Ingham County Sheriff’s Department.

The report notes that Michigan has shifted the burden of paying for postsecondary education onto the backs of students and families and now has one of the highest share of higher education costs being borne by students and families – sixth highest in the nation. Michigan also has more workers (more than 20 percent) than almost every state already on the job with only a high school diploma— workers at high risk of seeing their occupations disappear.

To close the talent gap, MIHEART recommendations from the report include:

• Significantly increase need-based state financial aid to make education past high school accessible and affordable
• More aggressive state outreach and financial support for 20 percent of Michigan workers already in the labor market with some college but no degree
• Improve career/college awareness, counseling and advising at high school and college levels
• Enhance collaboration between K-12 and higher education institutions to improve alignment and acceptance of credit in rigorous academic areas
• Improve transfer and credit acceptance between various higher education institutions for seamless learning and credential earning
• Increase high school student participation in all forms of powerful and cost-saving early postsecondary credit-earning programs (dual enrollment, Early/Middle Colleges, Career Technical Education (CTE) and AP/IB course taking)

The report highlights the significant progress made by Michigan’s public and independent colleges and universities to cut costs and improve access to education beyond high school by ensuring students successfully complete degree and certification programs.

“A thriving education system is an essential building block to a strong economy, and a high school diploma is not enough to succeed in today’s world,” said Michael Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association. “A postsecondary credential like a college degree or occupational certificate is a must. Postsecondary credentials translate to higher incomes, better job prospects and a stronger statewide economy. We support any policies that promote and support life-long learning.”

Despite these efforts, affording education is a responsibility—once shouldered by the State of Michigan —that often falls on the backs of Michigan’s families. Michigan is now ranked as one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to financial support for students seeking to pursue education beyond high school.

“One of the biggest barriers to education beyond high school is perceived affordability and the lack of guidance to access, navigate, and succeed in Michigan’s knowledge economy,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “Many workers today are seeing automation and a fast-paced work world rapidly changing. By increasing access to these programs and expanding opportunities for students, we can help them tackle the intimidating process of pursuing a degree or certificate beyond high school.”

Total Talent: Equipping All Michiganders with the Education and Skills Needed for Success in the Economy of Today and Tomorrow was prepared by the Michigan Higher Education Attainment Roundtable. The report brought together the public and independent colleges and universities, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan College Access Network, the Governor’s office, and community and regional K-12 education, higher education and workforce leaders. The workgroup was facilitated by John Austin, and supported with funding from The Kresge Foundation, Michigan College Access Network and National College Access Network.

The Michigan Higher Education Roundtable (MIHEART) is comprised of business, military, law enforcement, K-12 education, higher education and government leaders passionate about increasing and retaining talent in Michigan, including:

• Nancy Fishman, the Council for Strong America
• Nancy Moody, DTE Energy
• Major General (Ret.) Tom Cutler, USAF
• Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth, Ingham County Sherriff’s Office
• Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network
• John Austin, former President, Michigan State Board of Education
• Tim Sowton, Business Leaders for Michigan
• Robert Lefevre and Colby Cesaro, Michigan Independent Colleges & Universities
• Tim Sowton, Business Leaders for Michigan (BLM)
• Caroline Altman Smith, The Kresge Foundation
• Chris Wigent, Michigan Association of School Administrators (MASA)
• Wendy Zdeb, Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals
• Michael Hansen and Erica Orians, Michigan Community College Association (MCCA) – Michigan
Center for Student Success (MCSS)
• Brian Pyles and Jill Kroll Michigan Department of Education (MDE)
• Roger Curtis and Mary Lynn Noah, Michigan Department of Talent and Economic Development
• Tyler Sawher, Office of Governor Snyder
• Dan Hurley, Bob Murphy and Will Emerson, Michigan Association of State Universities
• Bill Miller, Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA)
• Greg Handel, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Kevin Stotts, Talent 2025

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Brandy Johnson
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 602.502.1618

Download Press Release (PDF)

56 College Advisers Begin School Year in Communities Across Michigan

AdviseMI continues into fourth year helping low-income and first-generation students pursue college

Sept. 10, 2018 - LANSING, Mich. – Seventy-one Michigan high schools will host 56 college advisers as part of the Michigan College Access Network’s (MCAN) AdviseMI program. Now in its fourth year, AdviseMI aims to increase the number of Michigan students who pursue education beyond high school.

AdviseMI focuses on placing recent college graduates in high schools with low college-going rates. They work alongside school counselors and other staff to help students navigate the transition from high school to postsecondary education, including taking college admissions tests, applying to colleges and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“For four years, AdviseMI has served as an important resource helping students navigate the college-going process,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “As recent college graduates themselves, our advisers offer important insight to students. The advisers are specially trained to help students understand a vital message not every student is told -- they are college material.”

New advisers attended an intense four-week training program on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) over the summer to prepare them for the 2018-19 school year. Some advisers will split time between two high schools, allowing 56 advisers to serve in 71 high schools across the state.

“The training our advisers undergo is thorough, and gives them the tools they need to provide expertise and guidance to students,” said Melissa Steward, director of AdviseMI. “It’s vital for advisers to discuss financial aid programs, help students master the college application process, and understand how to work with special populations to help them overcome challenges they may face to pursue education beyond high school.”

AdviseMI recently received the Outstanding National Service Award at the 2018 Governor’s Service Awards ceremony. The Outstanding National Service Award is awarded to programs that make an impact in communities and successfully support their service members.

The advisers are recent graduates from 18 partner colleges including, Adrian College, Alma College, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Kalamazoo College, Madonna University, Northern Michigan University, Oakland University, Olivet College, Saginaw Valley State University, Siena Heights University, University of Michigan-Dearborn, University of Michigan-Flint, Wayne State University and Western Michigan University.

To see the full list of the 71 participating high schools, go here.

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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 seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2015. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent as of 2018. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
Christopher Tremblay
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Phone: 517-816-7774

Download Press Release (PDF)

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