LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has awarded $14,009 in its first round of COVID-19 Response Grants to three 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.

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.

The following COVID-19 Response Grants have been awarded:

Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (Plymouth, MI) 
Awarded $8,009

Detroit Regional Dollars for Scholars (DRDS) will use the grant to provide additional targeted advising and support regarding seniors’ postsecondary decision-making process and transition to higher education. Part of this grant also will help DRDS transform its College Decision Day activities into virtual experiences.

Arbor Prep High School (Ypsilanti, MI)
Awarded $2,500

Arbor Prep High School will use the grant to take actions to prevent 2020 high school graduates from experiencing “summer melt,” a phenomenon in which students decide not to attend college during the summer months. In addition, funds will be used to offer a local SAT prep program for juniors.

Westfield Preparatory High School (Redford, MI)
Awarded $3,500

Westfield Preparatory High School will use the grant to fund group literacy interventions to build students’ college knowledge base, with a focus on teaching reading comprehension skills. In addition, there will be parent workshops and events to complement what the students are learning.

“MCAN remains focused on increasing postsecondary attainment in Michigan despite the global pandemic,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, executive director of MCAN. “This crisis is disproportionately affecting low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color - populations traditionally prevented from accessing higher education. It is very clear that there is an immediate need across the state."

 I’m proud that we have restructured and mobilized our resources and staffing for a rapid response through these grants and other strategies.

In the coming weeks, MCAN will be announcing additional grant awards. Thus far, more than 75 grant applications have been received by MCAN and are currently under review.

Applications for these grants are still being accepted.