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.

How did Detroit Drives FAFSA start?

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.

2017-18 Detroit Drives FAFSA Campaign

The 2017-18 Citywide FAFSA Completion Goal is 

65% FAFSA Completion by March 01, 2018


Your School's FAFSA Completion Rates

Explanation of data:

  • Submitted applications reflect all FAFSAs submitted by students at the high school. However, these applications can be rejected by the Central Processing System if key pieces of information are missing.

  • Applications that are accepted and not rejected are referred to as complete applications.

  • If a FAFSA is submitted but not complete, the student will receive an email from the Department of Education asking him or her to correct the FAFSA.

  • A completed FAFSA is necessary to determine eligibility for federal and other forms of financial aid.

Reminders & Participation

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.


If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact the SSG office at 1-888-4-GRANTS, or 1-888-447-2687, email, or visit them online at

Race To The FAFSA Line Challenge 

The Detroit Regional Chamber, through its Detroit Drives Degrees initiative, is excited to announce the Student Aid Challenge for Southeast Michigan, Race to the FAFSA Line. The goal of the challenge is to achieve 65 percent FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Despite the hard work of school counselors and local college access networks last year, Michigan students left over $90 million of federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA.


We invite your high school to register to participate in the Race to the FAFSA Line Challenge, which will run from October 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018. All public and private high schools in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties are eligible to participate. Schools with the most improved FAFSA completion rates have the chance to win a grand prize of a senior all-night party generously supported by Emagine Entertainment.



See where your school ranks using the brand new data dashboard, Click Here


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.

Net Price Calculator Center


The Net Price Calculator Center provides an easy tool to allow students and families to enter information about themselves and find out the net price of any given college- that is, the price after subtracting the scholarships and grants a student are likely to receive.

Financial Aid Shopping Sheet

Many colleges and universities have adapted a shopping sheet that provides personalized information on financial aid and net costs as well as general information on institutional outcomes — all in a standardized format. This tool provides an easy way to make clear comparisons among financial aid offers from different schools.