College Cash Campaign is the second stage of College Bound Michigan. This stage begins on Nov. 1 and lasts until the Michigan priority deadline for filing the FAFSA, May 1. During these months, CBMI sites are focused on helping students finish college applications, submit the FAFSA, apply for scholarships, and determine how they will pay for college. It is imperative that students be provided time to work on their FAFSA and scholarship applications during the school day. When financial aid packages are received by students, someone must be available to walk through what it means with them.

Now, more than ever before, FAFSA is critical!

The State of Michigan has a new, unprecedented financial aid opportunity, the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. This scholarship provides up to $27,500 to Michigan high school graduates who go to college in our state. Beginning with the graduating class of 2023, eligible students can receive:

  • Up to $5,500 per year to attend a Michigan public university, up to five years ($27,500 total)
  • Up to $4,000 per year to attend a Michigan private college or university, up to five years ($20,000 total)
  • Up to $2,750 per year to attend a Michigan community or tribal college, up to three years ($8,250 total)

Estimates show that 80% of graduating students qualify for this scholarship program, and 65% percent of eligible students will be able to attend college tuition-free. To be eligible, students must have an Expected Family Contribution of $25,000 or less as calculated by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Need

  • Filing the FAFSA is the only way for students to find out if they are eligible for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship or other state financial aid.
  • FAFSA is the only way to unlock the Pell Grant, other federal financial aid, and most institutional and community-based financial aid.
  • The FAFSA Completion rate in Michigan for the 2019-20 year was 51.9%, compared to 52.5% in the 2018-2019 year.
  • Michigan currently ranks 29th out of 50 states in the percentage of high schools graduates filing the FAFSA.
  • FAFSA completion rates are lower, on average, in high-poverty districts than in low-poverty districts. Michigan left over $100 million in unused federal financial aid on the table last year.
  • In Michigan, approximately 51% of students are eligible for Pell Grants, meaning almost 27,000 seniors who may have been awarded a Pell Grant did not receive one.
  • The average Pell Grant awarded to a student in 2018-19 was $4,271, meaning Michigan left nearly $120 million in federal Pell Grants untapped.
  • 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.

The Michigan FAFSA Tracker

The Michigan FAFSA Tracker provides accessible data for schools to better understand the current FAFSA landscape. The FAFSA data displayed on the tracker is provided by MI Student Aid within the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Through the FAFSA Tracker, all College Bound Michigan 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 tracker is a great tool for school counselors to track their school’s progress and to easily highlight their successes.

Schools are highly encouraged to submit a Data Use Agreement to MI Student Aid to access the MISSG Portal. The MISSG Portal provides access to student level data on FAFSA completion and allows counselors and school administrators to identify students who may be in need of additional support.

Michigan FAFSA Tracker →


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. This guide should serve as a master resource for implementing the campaign and guiding students through the FAFSA.

CAVA, MCAN's College Access Virtual Assistant is currently available to the high school class of 2023. CAVA, is a web- and text-based chatbot that connects Michigan students with resources, support, and up-to-date information on the college-going process. Conversations are interactive and responsive, and students get their questions answered in real time, 24/7.

The Michigan Department of Treasury is not affiliated with National Merit Scholarship Corporation or its registered trademarks National Achievement®, Achievement Scholarship®, or AchievementScholar®