Planning Grant


 Timeline   Process        Deliverables        About LCANs
 Assistance & Resources  Award   Application   About MCAN


LCAN Planning Grants are available for up to $20,000 to conduct a strategic planning process to organize and initiate a community-based Local College Access Network (LCAN). Please read these instructions thoroughly prior to applying for grant funding.

Rolling Grant Timeline

Planning Grants will be accepted at any time by the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) offices. Grants are reviewed throughout the year. Please work with your primary staff contact to get a better understanding of when your grant application may be reviewed. If you do not yet have a primary staff contact, please contact Jessica Soja, strategy manager for community mobilization, at Jessica(a) MCAN is committed to reviewing grants and providing a response to applicants in 90 days or less. Grants will not be awarded from September 1 - September 30 as it is the end of our fiscal year. Grant submitted during that time will be reviewed and notified of award status beginning October 1.

Planning Grant Process

MCAN has adopted the collective impact framework to help communities organize and initiate their local network. MCAN recommends that communities follow the steps listed below during the planning process in order to be successful and to help position the LCAN to be competitive for future MCAN grant opportunites:

  1. Make the Case with Influential Champions
  2. Establish an Initial Backbone Support Infrastructure and Continuous Improvement Process
  3. Conduct a Lanscape Scan and create an Asset Map
  4. Gather Baseline Data
  5. Establish Common Agenda and Dashboard
  6. Formalize Backbone Support Infrastructure
  7. Align Existing Organizations to the Network
  8. Analyze Data to Select Priority Areas

Planning Grant Deliverables

Successful applicants will be expected to work toward, complete and submit the following Planning Grant deliverables during the tenure of their grant award.

  • Endorsed Common Agenda
  • Up-to-Date Asset Map
  • Plan for Backbone Support (organization chart, staffing plan, position description(s))
  • National Student Clearinghouse Student Tracker Report(s) or MiSchool Data Report
  • Data Dashboard
  • Identified Priority Areas for Action Planning
  • Identified Leadership Team members and fiscal agent (Anchor) for the network

Grantees are required to submit a final report at the end of the grant period. Final reports are submitted through SurveyMonkey Apply.

Application Assistance

MCAN staff is available to provide application assistance. Email Jessica Soja, strategy manager for community mobilization, at Jessica(a) for application support. MCAN offers a "pre-review" process to receive feedback on your grant application prior to formal submission by request.


In addition to the financial grant, MCAN will provide extensive tools, templates and technical assistance. MCAN has recently updated its guidebook for LCAN development using the collective impact framework. You can access Charting the Course Second Edition: A Community's Guide for Increasing Educational Attainment through the Lens of Collective Impact here. A great place for you and your entire planning team to start is by reading the suite of Collective Impact articles by Kania & Kramer. Links for each article are available here.

Grant Award

Planning grants are available up to $20,000. It is important to think about what your community needs to assist with the planning process. All grantees will be required to match 25 percent of their grant award with cash or in-kind support. It is critical to begin the process of sustaining your LCAN from the beginning. Sample expenditures include hiring a consultant/facilitator for the process, meeting materials and/or travel costs to meetings, partners or MCAN events.

Defining a Local College Access Network

Local College Access Networks (LCANs) are community-based college access coordinating bodies supported by a team of community and education leaders representing K-12, higher education, the nonprofit sector, government, business and philanthropy. These intermediary organizations are committed to building a college-going culture and dramatically increasing the college-going/completion rates within their community. LCANs coordinate and expand programs, services and resources that lower barriers preventing students from pursuing postsecondary educational opportunities. LCANs organize community leaders around a singular vision and goal: Increase the community's postsecondary educational attainment in order to lay the foundation for a vibrant economy, healthy community and strong workforce equipped to compete in a 21st century global economy. The LCAN will set goals focused on student success, establish a system of data gathering and analysis, report results and hold partners accountable for performance.

About Michigan College Access Network

MCAN's mission is to increase college readiness, participation and completion rates 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 credentials to 60 percent by the year 2030. 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, defined as postsecondary 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.

Applying for Grant Funding

MCAN uses SurveyMonkey Apply, an online grant submission and review system. All grant applications must be submitted through this system. When you click the link below, you will be taken to a login page. You will create a username and password for this system which can be used for this and future grant applications if you so choose. If you currently have a username, you can log into the system from the link below.

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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