Press Releases

Gov. Snyder Declares October Michigan College Month

High schools across state hosting college application and financial aid campaigns throughout the month

Sept. 28, 2017 - LANSING, MICH. — Hundreds of high schools statewide will kick off Michigan College Month on October 1. Michigan College Month aims to ensure that every graduating senior has submitted at least one college application and applied for Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) by the end of the month.

As part of the celebration, high schools will host concurrent college application and financial aid campaigns throughout the month. 

“As the global economy increasingly requires more people with postsecondary skills, it’s important that we continue to support students in their efforts to pursue higher education,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “A 21st Century education is a valuable tool that can help prepare Michigan’s young people for future success.”

Hundreds of schools throughout Michigan 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. Resources and materials will be provided to school counselors and educators by Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) and 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 or training fits their needs.

In collaboration with area high schools, many Michigan colleges will be waiving their application fees or removing financial barriers that may hold students back.

“We want every high school senior to believe they’re college material by submitting at least one college application and applying for financial aid,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN Executive Director. “Navigating the college-going process is intimidating and this will help students understand this process, particularly first-generation college students.”

In the past, the push was to submit college applications for one week in October. MCAN, partnering with the governor’s office, decided to expand the campaign from one week to a month and to combine applying for financial aid and applying to colleges. During the 2015 College Application Week, more than 48,000 college applications were submitted. 81.5 percent of graduating seniors participated in College Application Week activities and 66 percent of students completed their first college application during the week.

“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 hope expanding our efforts throughout the entire month of October will continue to grow our efforts to provide an educated and sustainable workforce for Michigan.”

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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 43.4 percent. 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.

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)

MCAN encourages Congress to take quick action on DACA


Sept. 7, 2017 - LANSING, Mich. - The following statement can be attributed to Brandy Johnson, executive director and Sharlonda Buckman, board chair of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) in response to this week’s announcement regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

"Every Michigander has a unique ancestry and past, one that is intricately woven into our state’s history. We are a diverse state and our organization will continue to lead with our core belief that college is for everyone. Our work is rooted in the belief that every student deserves access to education and training beyond high school. In today’s knowledge-based economy, postsecondary education is not a luxury for some, but a necessity of everyone. 

Our organization encourages Congress to act quickly to clarify the status of those currently covered under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Until Congress determines what’s next, we will stay steadfast in our commitment by ensuring every student is prepared socially, logistically, academically and financially for postsecondary education.”

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 43.4 percent. 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.

 

Media Contact

Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF) 

70 Michigan high schools to kick off school year with college advisers

Third year of AdviseMI helping more low-income and first-generation students get into college

Aug. 28, 2017 - LANSING, Mich. – 56 college advisers from across the state will start the school year serving 70 Michigan high schools. This is the third year of the AdviseMI program and the specially trained advisers will help more students make it into college in the 2017-2018 school year. The advisers are being placed strategically into communities where there is a lower percentage of students pursuing college after high school.

Each adviser is a recent college graduate and attended an intense four-week training this summer. The advisers will work alongside counselors and other staff to encourage high school students to apply to college and assist with financial aid applications. Michigan high school counselors currently average caseloads of more than 700 students, making it hard for them to provide one-on-one college advising or help students navigate the complex process of college admissions and financial aid.

“The advisers in this program are intentionally recent graduates to offer a near-peer understanding of the college-going process,” said Brandy Johnson, MCAN executive director. “Many of the advisers requested to be placed in their home-towns or communities they have already served to continue their efforts and make a difference in the lives of high school students. The rigorous training we hold in the summer offers a unique opportunity to ensure our advisers are fully prepared to help students navigate the sometimes overwhelming path to pursuing postsecondary education.”

Some advisers will split their time between two high schools, allowing a broader reach in communities across the state. Advisers will assist students navigating the complex college exploration process, retake college admissions tests, apply to colleges that are a good match, complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), secure financial aid and enroll in a postsecondary institution.

The advisers are recent graduates from 17 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, 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 70 high schools receiving a college adviser, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/advisemi 

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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 43.4 percent. 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.

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF) 

MCAN applauds Congress for passing Forever GI Bill for college aid

Aug. 15, 2017 - LANSING, Mich.The following can be attributed to Brandy Johnson, executive director, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) in response to legislation providing college aid to military veterans:

"Providing college aid to our veterans recognizes the sacrifices of our brave men and women. We applaud Congress for passing the “Forever GI Bill” that would provide the largest expansion of college aid to veterans in 10 years and encourage President Trump to sign this bill. This legislation eliminates the 15-year time limit on the use of postsecondary education benefits as well as restores benefits to veterans affected by closures of for-profit institutions. Hundreds of thousands of veterans are estimated to be eligible for these benefits. The “Forever GI Bill” aligns with MCAN’s belief that college is for everyone. When veterans return home, they should have every opportunity available to pursue postsecondary credentials and meaningful careers. This bill is a crucial step toward giving support, especially to the people who have given so much to their country.

 

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 43.4 percent. 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.

 

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)



AdviseMI Starts Training of 56 College Advisers

Recent grads placed in schools to help students pursue postsecondary education

July 12, 2017 - LANSING, Mich. – The AdviseMI program will begin training this week for new college advisers. Once trained, the advisers will work in 70 high schools across the state to serve as postsecondary education advisers, with a special focus on schools where a lower percentage of students attend college after high school. This is the third year of the AdviseMI program, an innovative initiative through the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) which places recent college graduates, directly in schools to help students understand the college-going process.

The 56 advisers are recent graduates from partner colleges across Michigan, and all will attend an intense four-week training program at Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing. This advanced training, in partnership with the MSU College Advising Corps, is designed to prepare the new advisers to begin working this fall at their assigned schools to assist more Michigan students to pursue postsecondary education.

“The third year of AdviseMI is going to make a bigger impact on schools across the state as we continue to expand to serve even more school districts,” said Brandy Johnson, executive director of MCAN. “This training provides a unique opportunity for advisers to share experiences with one another and truly understand the nuances of the college going-process.”

The training session brings together college access experts from across the state and country to discuss financial aid programs, how to help with the college application process and exploration, how to work with special populations and navigating other obstacles students sometimes find in the path to furthering their education. These experts will range from high school counselors to financial aid representatives to national organizations such as the College Board and uAspire. In addition to attending the formal sessions, college advisers will tour college campuses and meet with financial aid and admissions staff.

“This training is intense in order to ensure the advisers truly understand how to help students navigate the college application process,” said Melissa Steward, director of AdviseMI. “Applying for financial aid or applying for colleges can be intimidating so we want to make sure our advisers have a thorough grasp on how to best help students take advantage of every opportunity at their disposal.”

Once they complete their training, some of the advisers will split their time between two high schools, allowing 56 college advisers to serve 70 high schools across the state. To learn more about AdviseMI, visit www.micollegeaccess.org/statewide-initiatives/advisemi.

For media interested in attending a training session, please contact Sarah Anthony.

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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. Michigan has recently experienced a modest increase in our college attainment rate -- from 37.4 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate’s degree, to 38.4 percent. However, Michigan’s rate still lags behind the national average of 40 percent. 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.  

Media Contact
Sarah Anthony
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Email: Sarah(a)micollegeaccess.org
Cell: 313-355-4078

Download Press Release (PDF)

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