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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) kicked off Michigan College Month on Oct. 1, with 233 schools and community-based organizations participating statewide. The goal of this month is to provide every graduating senior in Michigan the opportunity to apply to college. Michigan College Month is also the first phase of College Bound Michigan, a suite of three initiatives designed to build and support college-going cultures in high schools and their surrounding communities. Last year, College Bound Michigan reached 36,740 seniors at 250 partner schools and organizations across the state.

Michigan College Month flows into College Cash Campaign, which focuses on financial aid and paying for college, and then College Decision Day, which celebrates students who have decided to pursue postsecondary education. This trio of initiatives is designed to improve college readiness and participation among graduating high school students, moving us closer to the state's Sixty by 30 goal.

“While many students and families are questioning the value of college, the data consistently show that a degree or certificate is the most reliable pathway to economic independence,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “Every graduating student in Michigan should have the opportunity to explore all of their postsecondary options and understand the financial support available to them.”

As part of Michigan College Month, MCAN is distributing a list of Michigan institutions with free applications. While many schools offer fee-free applications year round, other schools have agreed to waive their fees for all or part of October.

This Michigan College Month comes at a time of increased discussion around the value of postsecondary education. College affordability has become a hot topic in the media, sparked by recent political actions like Pres. Biden’s student loan relief announcement and the Michigan legislature’s passing of the Michigan Achievement Scholarship.

“The high cost of postsecondary education is a massive barrier for Michigan students, especially for low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color,” said Fewins-Bliss. “As we encourage more students to earn a degree or certificate, we also need to keep pushing for systems-level changes that make college more affordable and prevent graduates from entering the workforce saddled with crushing student loan debt.”

To learn more about Michigan College Month or College Bound Michigan, visit micollegeaccess.org/initiatives/cbmi

Quotes from College Bound Michigan partners:

Kim Fleming, School Counselor: Traverse City, Mich.
“Traverse City Central High School has been participating in Michigan College Month for ten years. Our participation, with the support of MCAN, has helped us to provide more activities and resources to our students, in order to support them in applying and finding ways to pay for college. Each year, we partner with Northwestern Michigan College to provide college-going activities with the goal of increasing our students' knowledge, preparation and access to college. Michigan College Month has made a positive impact on our ability to support all of our students, but especially those students who may not have otherwise considered college.”

Sandy Hart, College and Career Advisor: St. Charles, Mich.
"MCAN support starts in October with Michigan College Month by providing students with a list of fee waivers they can use to apply to the college of their choice. Once students apply, the MCAN support continues by rallying around the College Cash Campaign. Then students really look forward to our Decision Day celebration, where we celebrate our seniors for declaring their future plans. We are so proud of our seniors as they pursue their goals through postsecondary education. We are thankful to MCAN for the support, guidance and assistance as we help our seniors make the best choices for their future.”