Michigan College Month will kick off Oct. 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.”