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MCAN builds college-going culture during Michigan College Month

"Michigan College Month 2023" in white text over blue and green multicolor background.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is kicking off Michigan College Month with resources for hundreds of schools participating in events statewide. Celebrated every October, Michigan College Month is 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 38,767 seniors at 275 partner schools and community-based organizations across the state.

Michigan College Month flows into the College Cash Campaign, which focuses on financial aid and paying for college, and then College Decision Day in the spring, 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 and build momentum toward the state's goal of Sixty by 30 — 60 percent of Michigan residents complete a postsecondary certificate or degree by the year 2030.

“Since we know that 40 out of 50 of Michigan’s high-wage, high-growth job opportunities require at least some postsecondary education, it’s vital to our students’ futures that we provide them with the opportunity to apply to college and equip them with the skills and support to succeed when they get there,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN’s executive director. “Whether it’s a bachelor’s degree from a 4-year institution or an associate degree or certificate from a community college, we want to make sure that students are matched with postsecondary pathways that help them achieve their career goals.”

As part of Michigan College Month, MCAN is distributing a list of over 50 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.

Typically, this month’s initiatives coincide with the opening of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), however, this year is different because the FAFSA has been delayed until December. Billed as the “Better FAFSA,” this year's application will be a shorter, simpler form with increased eligibility for Pell Grants and a reduction in verification, allowing more students access to the financial aid they need to attend college. The National College Attainment Network (NCAN) has put together a list of resources to help school staff, students, and families understand and prepare for the changes.

“Michigan College Month is just the start of our year-round efforts to ensure all students — especially low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color — have the opportunity to explore a full range of postsecondary options and understand the financial support available to them,” said Fewins-Bliss. “By strengthening the high school-to-college pipeline, we’re moving closer to our Sixty by 30 goal, preparing our students for the workforce of tomorrow and helping to build a brighter future for all Michiganders.”

Learn more about Michigan College Month or College Bound Michigan, visit

Schools and organizations across the state work to boost college applications among high school seniors.