Reach Higher System Impact Grant

Important Dates

Application Release: Funding opportunity made available on Spring 2019.
Deadline to complete Reach Higher System Impact Grant: Current grantees must complete their project and spend all grant funds by Friday, July 31, 2019.
Deadline: Applications are due Thursday, August 1, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. to MCAN.
Application Notification: Successful applicants will be notified by Thursday, August 15, 2019.


MCAN Member high schools that have successfully completed two years of the Reach Higher High School grant program and maintained compliance are eligible to apply. To learn more about becoming a member and to sign up, visit: Eligibility questions should be directed to: Brandy Johnson, Executive Director, brandy(a)

Grant Priorities

MCAN is seeking innovative, aggressive, reform-minded high school applicants with buy-in, engagement, and formal participation from the building principal and school counseling staff for the Reach Higher System Impact grant.   High Schools with a plan to implement a bold systems change initiative, developed utilizing local quantitative and qualitative data, to improve metrics around college and career readiness should consider applying.

The Michigan College Access Network 2017-2021 Strategic Plan outlines MCANs strategies for addressing four priority areas: Foster a College-going Culture; Identify Multiple Postsecondary Education Pathways and Facilitate Smooth Transitions; Improve College Affordability; and Support Credential Completion.

Priority One: Foster a College-Going Culture
Residents across our state believe college is very important to succeed in the labor market. In every high school across the state, professionals support this belief and help all students define and achieve their postsecondary goals.

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Staff expansion focused on postsecondary education planning
  • 9-12th grade advisory period curriculum in postsecondary education awareness/planning/navigation
  • Dedicated course(s) in postsecondary education awareness/planning/navigation

Priority Two: Identify Multiple Postsecondary Education Pathways and Facilitate Smooth Transitions
All students graduating from a Michigan high school understand their postsecondary options, and they enroll in a postsecondary institution that is a good match or fit for their aspirations, academic readiness, and career ambitions.

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Strategic Educational Development Plan implementation with an emphasis on postsecondary education pathways
  • Systematic approach for addressing Summer Melt
  • K-12/Higher Education partnership focused on Guided Pathways/transfer planning

Priority Three: Improve College Affordability
All students graduating from a Michigan high school will have the financial knowledge, literacy, and readiness to understand the costs and benefits of postsecondary education. Students will also have the resources, advising, and coaching they need to enroll in and efficiently complete their degree or certificate program. 

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • Required Financial Literacy coursework focused on college financial planning
  • Systemic award letter/financial aid screening and gap closing

Priority Four: Support Credential Completion

All students who enroll in college will attain a postsecondary degree or certificate, while minimizing their time to completion.

       Examples of Targeted Focus Strategies

  • K-12/Higher Education partnership focused on remediation avoidance
  • Alumni success coaching
  • Systematic expansion of early college credit taking opportunities (AP/IB, Dual Enrollment, Early/Middle College, articulated CTE)

With the Reach Higher System Impact grant, MCAN seeks to align the investment of high school innovation resources in Priority Areas with a particular interest in the Targeted Focus Strategies.  Applicants demonstrating that one or more of the Priority Areas are clearly aligned and a significant part of the proposed project focus and intended outcomes will receive priority consideration and extra points for submitting an application within the designated Priority Areas.

Applications focusing outside of the example Targeted Focus Strategies will still be reviewed and considered.  Applications focusing outside the designated Priority Areas are unlikely to be considered.

Grant Award

MCAN expects a highly competitive grant process. Grants of up to $20,000 will be awarded to approximately 10 high schools within Michigan.  The actual level of funding provided will be subject to the availability of funds. The grant period is generally one year, with a start date of October 1, 2018 and an end date of September 30, 2019. Continuation funding for subsequent years is not guaranteed and is dependent upon availability of funds and satisfactory performance. The project start date may not occur prior to the grant award start date of October 1, 2018. MCAN is committed to reviewing grants and providing a response to applicants by August 15, 2018.

Notification of Intent to Apply

Submission of a Notification of Intent to Apply is strongly encouraged for this grant and is due Friday, June 15, 2018. Eligibility is not based on submission of Notification of Intent to Apply. Please send the intent by completing the form here: and submitting it via email to brandy(a) All Notifications of Intent to Apply will receive an email response acknowledging receipt.  The Notification of Intent to Apply form can be found here.

About Michigan College Access Network

The mission of the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is to increase college readiness, participation, and completion in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first generation college-going students, and students of color. In order to build and sustain a vibrant economy and strong communities based on a highly educated population, MCAN works to ensure everyone in Michigan has the opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education. MCAN’s goal is to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or certificates to 60% by the year 2025. 

At its core, MCAN believes:

  • College is Postsecondary Education: MCAN uses the term “college” to refer to the attainment of valuable postsecondary credentials beyond high school, including professional/technical certificates and academic degrees.
  • College is a Necessity:  Postsecondary education is a prerequisite to success in a knowledge-based economy. Everyone must pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree beyond high school.
  • College is for Everyone: The postsecondary education attainment rates among low-income students and students of color are significantly lower than those of other students. MCAN is committed to closing these gaps.
  • College is a Public Good: Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, and healthy communities.

Proposal Submission

Proposals are only accepted using Michigan College Access Network’s online grants system, Fluid Review. To apply to for all high school grant competitions, visit, or select the "Apply Now" button below.

If you have an existing account, you can sign in and click “Create New Submission.” Select “Reach Higher System Impact Grant Application” from the drop-down menu and complete the grant application. If you don’t have an existing account, click “Sign Up” and provide your registration information, selecting “Reach Higher System Impact Grant Application” from the drop-down. Then complete the grant application.   


Application Assistance

You are encouraged to contact MCAN to inquire about eligibility and to request technical assistance. Please contact Executive Director Brandy Johnson at brandy(a) or call (517) 316-1713 for assistance with your application or for help with the online application portal. 

If you would like to review the online application components, you are welcome to review this Word document version. You cannot submit the application using this Word document. This is only for review purposes.

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