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MCAN announces $50,000 in grants to 10 Michigan high schools

Group of college graduates facing away from camera.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network is proud to announce $50,000 in grant funding to 10 Michigan high schools. Each school will receive a $5,000 ASPIRE grant, the first stage of MCAN’s High School Innovation Grants program. 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 collaboratively with MCAN and community partners to develop sustainable, systems-wide plans to improve postsecondary outcomes for their students. This is a new grant program that builds on MCAN’s prior work with high schools.

“Michigan’s students deserve robust, equity-based postsecondary guidance that prepares them for college and 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 career goals.”

The inaugural cohort of ASPIRE grantees comprises 10 Michigan high schools:

  • Bay City Western High School (Auburn)
  • Dansville High School (Dansville)
  • Redford Union High School (Redford)
  • Orchard View High School (Muskegon)
  • Loyola High School (Detroit)
  • Allendale High School (Allendale)
  • Trillium Academy (Taylor)
  • Big Rapids Virtual Academy (Big Rapids)
  • John Glenn High School (Westland)
  • Wayne Memorial High School (Wayne)

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

ASPIRE grants provide funding to assess, improve college-going culture in schools