The purpose of this campaign is to assist every Detroit senior with completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Additionally, our goal is to support schools with better understanding and assisting their students with the entire financial aid process. This includes the application, verification, award acceptance, and disbursement in the fall.
MCAN has adopted this national campaign, and DCAN supports Detroit high schools and community-based organizations with participating each FAFSA season.
This 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. Partners included the Detroit Regional Chamber, Michigan College Access Network, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan, the Skillman Foundation and Excellent Schools Detroit. The group 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 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% completion and a citywide college week that included decision day events, college-going workshops, and college tours for Detroit students. This campaign was the first citywide campaign.
In 2018-2019, 1,982 students from 16 high schools participated and completed 4,572 college applications. An average of 2.3 per student. Our goal this year is 3 college applications per student. This year we expect at least 40 high schools and community based organizations to participate. Below is a list of schools: