DETROIT DRIVES FAFSA
The cost of college is one of the biggest hurdles students face when considering their options after high school. The price tag alone can be a barrier to college attendance, especially for students who are from low-income homes or who are the first in their family to attend college. While FAFSA completion is only one step in the college-going process it is the only way for students to unlock their access to federal loans and grants, statewide scholarships and grants, and often institutional and community based scholarships and grants.
Collaborative college access and readiness work in Detroit began during the spring of 2013 when a group of cross-sector organizations came together in an effort to increase FAFSA completion rates in the city of Detroit. The group was known as the “College Ready” team and Excellent Schools Detroit served as the group’s backbone organization. The group determined that a simple but vital first step would be to increase the number of Detroit high school seniors who completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Partners included the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan College Access Network, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, and the Skillman Foundation and Excellent Schools Detroit. The College Ready table group of Detroit college-access stakeholders launched and implemented a FAFSA completion campaign that successfully increased citywide FAFSA application rates to 73% from the 54% baseline.
The campaign also included informational events about the importance of FAFSA and training events that provided cohesive instructions about how to support students and families with completing the form. The resulting FAFSA Completion Campaign paid off and 73% of high school seniors completed their FAFSA form. Additionally, 24 of 39 Detroit high schools exceeded a 70% FAFSA completion rate that year, more than double the ten schools that met that mark during the previous year. In 2014, the partners launched another successful FAFSA completion campaign reaching 70% FAFSA completion and a citywide college week that included decision day events, college-going workshops, and college tours for Detroit students.
Detroit Drives FAFSA list of schools
Michigan Student Scholarships and Grants’ (SSG) created a new web portal, MiSSG, for high school counselors. In MiSSG, users will be able to view records for students currently attending their high school. Account holders can view students who have completed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
These four documents will support users creating a new account:
Letter to Principal: This letter provides an explanation of MiSSG and how to request access to the Web portal.
Data Use Agreement: This form needs to be completed/signed by the high school principal and returned to SSG each academic year.
Data Receiver Designee Form: This form needs to be completed/signed by the high school principal and returned to SSG each academic year.
Secondary Security Access Form: This form grants permission from the high school principal to allow a partner(s) to view MiSSG data.
Navigate the financial aid process and make informed decisions about paying for college. This website provides straightforward and easy-to-understand information about planning and paying for college. The site combines content and interactive tools from several Department of Education websites.
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