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MCAN announces Reach Higher System Impact grants

Graduates holding caps in the air with green overlay and MCAN logo in white in top right corner

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network is proud to announce the latest cohort of Reach Higher System Impact high schools. Since 2015, MCAN has provided funding for high schools to improve college access through the Reach Higher High School grant program. This year, MCAN welcomes four schools into the third year of the program with the Reach Higher System Impact grant. Through the completion of years one and two of the grant program, these schools have demonstrated a strong commitment from the building principal and school counseling team to initiate systemic change to move the needle on Michigan’s postsecondary attainment goal of Sixty by 30.


Through the Reach Higher System Impact grant, the four schools will each receive up to $20,000. The grants will be used to foster a college-going culture in their communities, identify multiple postsecondary education pathways and facilitate smooth transitions, improve college affordability and support credential completion. Grantees will receive funding for 18 months, with a start date in March and an end date in August.

“Demonstrating to students that the community is invested in their postsecondary goals can be life changing, especially for low-income students, first-generation college-going students and students of color,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “We are excited to further our partnership with these four high schools because of their steadfast commitment to fostering a college-going culture in their communities. The System Impact grantees are leading Michigan’s effort to reach the Sixty by 30 state goal, and we are proud to support them.”



  • Evart High School (Evart, Mich.): Evart High School’s grant will fund efforts to improve academic readiness for college, as well as the implementation of a mentorship program for recent graduates where students are paired with a staff member who will support them as they matriculate into college.
  • Inland Lakes High School (Indian River, Mich.): Inland Lakes High School’s grant will fund the development of a dedicated advisory period where 6th through 12th graders will meet daily to learn about postsecondary opportunities and career pathways. This project will also host postsecondary workshops for parents of middle school students to begin a dialogue about what college and career access and success might look like for their children.
  • Morley Stanwood High School (Morley, Mich.): Morley Stanwood High School’s grant will fund the establishment of a mentorship program for graduating seniors. Seniors who attend Central Michigan University or Ferris State University will be paired with a current college student at that university who will coach them through their first steps as college students.
  • Sault Area High School (Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.): Sault Area High School’s grant will fund the creation of a summer bridge program. This program will connect staff members with recent high school graduates to offer support and mentorship as students transition to college.


Questions regarding the Reach Higher High School grant program and school eligibility should be directed via email to Autumn Kearney, MCAN strategy manager for high school innovation.

Four Michigan high schools receive funding for continued college access efforts