Students take an active role in applying for financial aid
Nov. 21, 2016 - LANSING, Mich. – Michigan College Month ended with a record number of Free Applications for Student Aid (FAFSA). Special efforts to reach every graduating senior and encourage them to submit at least one college application, apply for at least one college scholarship and complete the FAFSA resulted in a 48 percent increase compared to the filing season in January, 2016. Thanks to hundreds of high school counselors, college advisers, college representatives and volunteers, a total of 19,198 FAFSAs were filed in Michigan during the month of October and this trend continued nationwide.
The FAFSA is a free application that helps students determine their eligibility for financial aid. The FAFSA helps students who may not understand how to locate financial resources. The form determines the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. This is used by the federal government, colleges, and universities to determine what financial aid should be offered each student as grants or loans. Filing the FAFSA is considered a leading indicator of whether students will pursue college.
“We hope the dramatic jump in FAFSA applications in Michigan opens the door for a larger number of students to pursue higher education,” said Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) Executive Director. “Michigan College Month offers continuity by having students approach the college-going process as a whole instead of separate efforts. I’m proud of the outcome of Michigan College Month and the united effort from local high schools to help seniors pursue successful careers.”
Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed October “Michigan College Month” and hundreds of high schools across the state participated by hosting concurrent college application and financial aid campaigns. Special efforts were made to encourage participation from minority and low-income students and students who would be the first in their family to attend college.
“I’m grateful to Gov. Snyder for his leadership and believe these efforts have encouraged more students think of themselves as college material. Hopefully in the coming months we continue to move the needle forward,” said Johnson.
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 sixth 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 39.3 percent in 2014. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.3 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.
Deputy Director for Partnerships and Advocacy
Thank you to the following organizations for their generous support of the 2017 Michigan College Access Network Conference.