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MCAN announces $45,000 in grants to high schools

Photo of students in graduation gowns.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network is proud to announce $45,000 in grant funding to nine Michigan high schools. Each school will receive a $5,000 Aspire grant, the first stage of MCAN’s High School Innovation Grants series. The selected schools have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to postsecondary education access and success, and these grants will help them build on that work. Recipients will use the funds over the next four to six months to assess current systems and practices, determine challenge areas, develop an action plan and establish a postsecondary action and success team.

In alignment with Michigan’s Sixty by 30 goal, High School Innovation Grants encourage schools to assess and improve their college-going cultures through a multi-year collaborative process. The schools will work with MCAN and community partners to develop sustainable, building-wide plans to improve postsecondary outcomes for their students. 

“Michigan’s students deserve robust, equity-based postsecondary guidance that prepares them for success in college and puts them on the pathway to fulfilling careers,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “By addressing systemic inequities and employing best practices, we can help ensure that all students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students, and students of color — can access postsecondary education that helps them achieve their life goals.”

The 2024 cohort of Aspire grantees comprises eight Michigan high schools:

  • Bay City Central High School (Bay City)
  • Caledonia High School (Caledonia)
  • Eastpointe High School (Eastpointe)
  • Godwin Heights High School (Wyoming)
  • Houghton High School (Houghton)
  • Ionia High School (Ionia)
  • Lakewood High School (Lake Odessa)
  • Parchment High School (Parchment)
  • Yale High School (Yale)

Upon completion of the Aspire stage, schools will progress to the Activate stage, a 12- to 18-month period that includes an additional $10,000 in grant funding, where they will develop and execute plans to improve college-going culture, as well as create data infrastructure to measure student trends. The final stage, Align, is a six- to 12-month period that includes another $10,000 in grant funding. In this stage, the schools will focus on sustaining best practices and sharing results with others in the education community.

To learn more about High School Innovation Grants or other MCAN grant programs, visit

Nine schools receive Aspire grants to assess, improve college-going culture