Governor Granholm Announces $21.3 Million in Federal Funding to Increase College Access

Contact: Tiffany Brown 517-335-6397

August 19, 2010

Grant will further Michigan's goal of doubling number of college graduates

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Michigan will receive $21.3 million from the U.S. Department of Education to dramatically increase college participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income and first-generation students.  Michigan's proposal under the federal College Access Challenge Grant Program (CACGP) aims to increase the proportion of Michiganians with high-quality degrees and credentials from 34 percent to 60 percent by the year 2025.

"An educated workforce is critical to building a vibrant, diversified economy that will create jobs for years to come," Granholm said.  "Today's announcement will help ensure that all Michiganians are able to access postsecondary education - and succeed.  It also helps further our goal of doubling the number of Michigan college graduates."

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) and the Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) will play central roles in Michigan's comprehensive college access strategy.  Federal funds will be used to create a new unit within the MDE dedicated to college access outreach into K-12 schools and communities.

The MDE and MCAN also will partner to support community-based college access initiatives known as Local College Access Networks, which are committed to increasing the college participation and completion rates within a community through a coordinated strategy.  The MDE and MCAN will provide direct grants to communities to plan, start, and expand Local College Access Networks, and also will provide each Local College Access Network with hands-on technical assistance in program and professional development.

Other Michigan projects awarded funding through the College Access Challenge Grant Program include:

  • Michigan College Access Portal
    The Michigan College Access Portal will serve as a centralized website with information for students and parents to plan, apply, and pay for college.  The website goes live September 7, 2010, and can be visited at
  • KnowHow2GOMichigan Public Awareness Campaign
    KnowHow2GOMichigan is a public awareness campaign encouraging young people to take the necessary steps to go to college.  Public service announcements will run in media markets around the state and also will be incorporated into local college access programming.
  • College Positive Volunteerism Project (CACGP)
    CACGP funds will be used to support partnerships between higher education institutions and local college access initiatives to tap into the energy and enthusiasm of current college students to serve as mentors for underrepresented K-12 students.
  • Michigan College Advising Corps
    In the tradition of Teach for America, the Michigan College Advising Corps recruits and trains recent University of Michigan college graduates to work full-time as college advisors in underserved Michigan high schools for one to two years.  CACGP funds will be used to expand the Michigan College Advising Corps from eight to 24 corps members.
  • The Promise Zone Project
    CACGP funds will support the ten Michigan communities granted Promise Zone designations in 2009 by helping each community create and execute a sustainable development plan for its universal college scholarship program and to implement comprehensive strategies to enhance students' college readiness. Sub-grants will be made to each of the ten communities to fund (on a matching basis) a Promise Zone coordinator position.
  • Achieving the Dream College Completion Innovation Fund
    "Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count" is a multi-year national initiative to improve student success at community colleges, particularly for students of color and low-income students.  MCAN will provide sub-grants to Michigan community colleges involved in the initiative to fund innovative strategies to help more students earn postsecondary credentials.  As of May, 17 of Michigan's 28 community colleges were part of the Achieving the Dream initiative.

The funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Education and will be disbursed to the state over the next five years.

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