LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $43,163 in its 10th round of COVID-19 Response Grants to eight organizations in Michigan. These grants help Michigan high schools, Local College Access Networks, community-based nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions support emergent postsecondary projects and programs in their communities. MCAN is now partnering with other funders to co-sponsor these grants. 

The grants were announced by MCAN in early April 2020 to demonstrate MCAN’s responsiveness to and support of communities affected by the global health pandemic that continues to have a major impact in Michigan, predominantly in minority communities MCAN serves.  

Thus far, MCAN has awarded 76 COVID-19 Response Grants totaling $419,755. 

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded: 

Caseville Public Schools (Caseville, MI) 
Awarded $550 
Caseville Public Schools will use its grant to purchase technology and equipment for its “Explore My Options” initiative. The initiative will support hosting virtual college representative visits throughout the school year and encourage seniors to apply to at least one college.

Community Foundation for Oceana County (Pentwater, MI) 
Awarded $8,669 
Community Foundation for Oceana County will use its grant to support the Oceana College Access Network in an effort called, “Navigating the Potholes on the Rural Road to Post-Secondary.” This initiative incorporates three components: 

1. Increase awareness of and access to public Wi-Fi hotspots and work spaces where at-home Wi-Fi is limited or not available. 
2. Provide SAT preparation courses for incoming seniors. 
3. Enhance communications with parents and community to strengthen a college-going culture. 

The Etiquette Series (Detroit, MI) 
Awarded $10,000 

The Etiquette Series will use its grant to support 100 students in an effort called “Social Etiquette: Transitional and College Readiness.” This initiative will serve high school youth in the inner city and offer resources to guide them through the transition to college. 

Grand Rapids Community College (Grand Rapids, MI) 
Awarded $9,944 

Grand Rapids Community College will use its grant to increase student access to postsecondary education by providing distance-learning technology for students without dependable Wi-Fi access during a time when face-to-face instruction is limited or unavailable. Specifically, GRCC will provide 26 students per semester with free T-Mobile Wi-Fi access.  

Henry Ford Academy (Dearborn, MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Henry Ford Academy will use its grant to assist low-income students in preparing for the taking and/or retaking of college admission tests like the ACT or SAT. 

Kirtland Community College (Grayling, MI) 
Awarded $4,000
Kirtland Community College will use its grant to launch a project called, “Connecting Digital Learners in Rural Northern Michigan.” Kirtland Community College plans to provide Wi-Fi hotspot devices that include a data plan to 40 students in order to ensure they have reliable internet access. 

Mid Michigan College (Harrison, MI) 
Awarded $5,000 
This is the second COVID-19 response grant offered to Mid Michigan College by MCAN. 

Mid Michigan College will use its grant to offer an event called “Senior Focus Day” for 500 high school seniors on Friday, September 24. The event is targeted toward low-income, rural and first-generation college going students. This on-campus visit experience will include information about program pathways, degree options, and financial aid. In addition, students attending will receive assistance completing the state TIP (Tuition Incentive Program) application. 

Reeths-Puffer High School (Muskegon MI) 
Awarded $2,500 

Reeths-Puffer High School will use its grant to provide 25 students with internet access to support at-home learning, virtual exploration of colleges, completion of online applications for college admission and completion of the FAFSA. 

“Since April, MCAN has taken on the responsibility of funding impactful postsecondary attainment initiatives across the state of Michigan,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “The global health pandemic has disproportionately affected populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education including low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color. I’m proud that we have the capacity to rapidly mobilize resources and act as a support to schools and organizations. I also want to acknowledge all of the funding partners who have joined us in co-funding some of these grants."