October 2021: College Month

WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, 45 out of Michigan's 50 "Hot Jobs" require a college degree, postsecondary certificate, or apprenticeship; and,


WHEREAS, according to Michigan's Hot 50 Job Outlook through 2028 for Michigan's high-demand, high-wage jobs, 80% will require education beyond high school and 76% will require a bachelor's degree or more; and,


WHEREAS, the Michigan College Access Network uses the term "college" to refer to the attainment of valuable certificates and academic degrees beyond high school; and,


WHEREAS, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the only way to access federal grants and loans that can be instrumental in helping students pay for college, is available beginning October 1; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan College Month provides dedicated time and space during the school day, whether in-person or virtually, to ensure all high school seniors have the opportunity to apply to college and file the FAFSA form with support from the Michigan College Access Network, Local College Access Networks, school counselors, college advisors, and community members; and,


WHEREAS, during the month of October, all Michigan colleges and universities - many of which have removed application fees entirely or waived their fee for the month to ensure accessibility - will accept the National Association for College Admission Counseling application fee waiver for those students who have demonstrated financial need in order to ensure no student is deprived of the opportunity to pursue admission to the institution of their choice due to financial hardship; and,


WHEREAS, improved higher educational attainment in our state is one of my top priorities, and I have set a goal that 60% of working-age adults in Michigan will have a skills certificate or college degree by 2030; and,


WHEREAS, to help every Michigander reach their full potential, I have proposed the MI Opportunity Scholarship; and,


WHEREAS, over 160,000 Michiganders have applied for Michigan Reconnect or Futures for Frontliners, state scholarship programs which provide tuition-free access to local community colleges to Michiganders without college degrees who are at least 25 years old or who worked in essential industries during the state COVID-19 shutdown;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim October 2021 as College Month in Michigan.