NEW! FAFSA Assistance Chatbot

From The College Board

Supporting Governor Whitmer's Challenge 

Governor Whitmer challenged all Michigan high schools to set a bold FAFSA completion goal, select a FAFSA champion, and systematically track data on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completions. High schools accepting the challenge should sign up for the College Cash Campaign, which will provide the resources necessary to support high schools working to prioritize FAFSA completion. The goal of the College Cash Campaign is to increase Michigan’s FAFSA completion rate to 75%. 

Michigan Governor Whitmer's FAFSA Challenge Video 

The Need

  • FAFSA is the only way to unlock the Pell Grant, other federal financial aid, all state financial aid, and most institutional and community-based financial aid. 
  • The average FAFSA completion rate in Michigan for the 2018-19 year was 56%; 44% of high school seniors in Michigan did not complete the FAFSA, representing 51,000 students.
  • Michigan currently ranks 28th out of 50 states in the percentage of high school graduates filing a FAFSA.
  • FAFSA completion rates are lower, on average, in high-poverty districts than in low-poverty districts.
  • Michigan left nearly $100 million in unused federal financial aid on the table last year.
  • Ninety percent (90%) of high school seniors who complete the FAFSA immediately enroll in postsecondary education programs, compared to 50% of those who do not complete the FAFSA. 
  • Low-income seniors are 127% more likely to enroll in postsecondary education directly after high school, compared to peers who do not complete the form. 


FAFSA Data Tracker

The College Cash Campaign FAFSA Tracker provides accessible data for schools to better understand their current FAFSA completion landscape. The data displayed on the tracker is provided by Student Scholarship and Grants within the Michigan Department of Treasury. Through the FAFSA Tracker tool, all College Cash Campaign sites will have access to an individual school profile displaying current FAFSA completion data, trends over time, and a comparison to previous FAFSA completion cycles. The FAFSA Tracker is a great tool for school counselors to track their school’s progress and to easily highlight the successes.

 The tracker displays the percent of students in a school with a completed FAFSA on file. Schools are highly encouraged to submit a Data Use Agreement to Student Scholarship and Grants to access the MISSG Portal, which will provide access to student-level data on FAFSA completion to target support to the students who need it the most.


2020 Incentives

Schools registering to participate in the College Cash Campaign are eligible for incentives. Entities reaching the FAFSA completion rates below will be provided items to celebrate the work done and encourage a continued dedication to the work. 

  • All registered sites – College Bound stickers
  • 60% - Drawstring bags for seniors
  • 65% - Framed tribute from the Executive Office of the Governor
  • 70% - Counselor/Adviser Reward
  • 75% - FAFSA Completion Award and social media recognition by MCAN and the Executive Office of the Governor


Three overall winners: Host Governor, Lt. Governor or Michigan celebrities for commencement/Decision Day

Ten geographic winners: A bus visit to the Capitol and a photo opportunity with Governor Whitmer

2020 Winners


Detroit Regional Chamber (DRC)

Executive Office of the Governor

Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP)

Michigan Department of Education (MDE)

Michigan Department of Labor Economic and Opportunity (LEO)

Student Scholarships and Grants (SSG) – Michigan Department of Treasury


To support the FAFSA completion efforts in your school, MCAN has created a College Cash Campaign Implementation Guide. The guide should serve as a master resource for implementing the campaign and guiding students through the FAFSA. Additionally, a College Cash Campaign toolbox is available for additional support and resources including the following: