DETROIT, June 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) received a $55,000 grant from the National College Access Network (NCAN) and the Kresge Foundation to increase the city's completion rate for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for high school students during the 2016-2017 school year.
DCAN was one of 118 organizations in America invited to submit for the funding. Only 22 cities were awarded funds as a part of the initiative.
"We know FAFSA completion is strongly associated with postsecondary enrollment, yet every year millions of students who are eligible for aid never complete the FAFSA," said Bill Moses, Kresge's managing director, Education. "That's especially true for low-income students who could use the federal assistance the most. Through this challenge, Kresge is proud to partner with NCAN to strengthen our country's urban higher education ecosystems to get more low-income students into college."
The funding is geared toward seeing each city increase FAFSA completion rates by a minimum of 5 percent for the high school graduating class of 2017. Currently, the FAFSA is the primary application required for most student financial assistance programs including Federal Pell Grants, Federal on-campus Work Study programs, and low interest Federal Student Loans.
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. Today, 40-plus organizations are not only committed to increasing FAFSA completion, but also to increasing college enrollment and success among Detroit students.
DCAN will utilize the funds to coordinate Detroit College Month, which will take place during October. During the month DCAN will support seniors with completing at least 3 college applications, completing the FAFSA, applying to the Detroit Promise and other scholarship opportunities. Additionally, DCAN will increase awareness around two significant changes to the FAFSA process this year: 1) the FAFSA application period will open earlier (on October 1 versus January 1), and 2) the FAFSA will require tax information from an earlier tax year.
"DCAN is committed to ensuring Detroit families are not only aware of the new changes to FAFSA, but have the tools they need to complete the college enrollment process," said Dr. Ashley Johnson, Director of Collective Impact at Excellent Schools Detroit.
"This grant will support the work of our Financial Readiness Action Team, who is committed to seeing all of our city's seniors successfully transition to college with the reassurance that they'll have the financial support they need to achieve their dreams."
The Financial Readiness Action Team will provide trainings and information sessions, track the city's progress toward meeting our goals, determine the barriers to student success and identify objectives and strategies to overcome the barriers.
In Detroit, representatives from the following entities comprise the leadership team that drives the DCAN work:
- Cody Rouge Neighborhood Alliance
- Coleman A. Young Foundation
- Congress of Communities
- Detroit Parent Network
- Detroit Public Schools
- Detroit Regional Chamber
- Detroit Schools-Higher Education Consortium
- Education Achievement Authority (EAA)
- Excellent Schools Detroit
- Metro Detroit Charter Center
- Michigan Future Schools
- Office Depot/Office Max
- Skillman Foundation
- United Negro College Fund
- United Way of Southeastern Michigan
In addition to the 22 city grants, NCAN will also award three to five additional monetary prizes totaling $300,000 in September 2017 among the 22 grant-funded cities. Prizes will go to:
- The city demonstrating greatest percentage point growth in high school FAFSA completions for the Class of 2017, compared to the Class of 2015
- The city demonstrating the highest high school FAFSA completion rate for the Class of 2017
- The city demonstrating the most innovative or collaborative FAFSA completion strategy and/or partnership with postsecondary institutions
For more information on DCAN or to support the Financial Readiness Action Team, visit Detroitcan.org or contact Dr. Ashley Johnson at 313.285.9156 ext. 11 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News Media Contact:
Ashley Johnson, Director of Collective Impact
Excellent Schools Detroit
313.285.9156 ext. 11
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SOURCE Detroit College Access Network