State high schools celebrate Michigan College Month

LANSING — High schools throughout Northwest Michigan are celebrating Michigan College Month. Michigan College Month, which kicked off Oct. 1, 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. A map of participating schools is available here.

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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