<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1018706268302959&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Knowledge • News • Insights
In Partnership With

Michigan Business Beat | Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN - FAFSA Week of Action - April 15-19

Michigan Business Beat
April 19, 2024 4:00 PM


Jeffrey Mosher welcomes back Ryan Fewins-Bliss, Executive Director, MCAN, Michigan College Access Network, Lansing, MI.

Hear Ryan and Jeffrey discuss MCAN's focus on FAFSA Week of Action and the associated efforts, in the SoundCloud PodCast shared below:

Jeffrey and Ryan cover several issues surrounding the topic: FAFSA Week of Action - April 15-19. 

Objective: MCAN supports school counselors and college advisers as their students and families navigate
 shortened FAFSA timelines. MCAN actions: 
● Compiled an Evolving FAFSA spreadsheet that tracks institutional changes in enrollment deadlines 
● Offered Certified FAFSA Specialist Training for select school counselors, educators, and others who 
work directly with students ○ This training is offered at no cost to the participants ○ All training sessions 
are recorded and available to the public ○ A list of Certified FAFSA Specialists is available to support people 
who work with students. This is not for students and families. Contact Jeneen Hatoum for details 
● Hosting a variety of webinars to keep school counselors and other professionals up to date on FAFSA changes 
and offer strategies for dealing with this year’s shortened timeline ○ School counselors and educators can earn 
State Continuing Education Clock Hours for attending live webinars or by watching recorded webinars and completing a quiz 
○ Webinars are offered at no cost to the participants 
● Maintaining an up-to-date resource hub for schools participating in our College Bound Michigan initiative 
○ While designed to be used in the context of CBMI, all resources are public and available to anyone 
● Using our network of college advisers serving in AdviseMI and MSU College Advising Corps to disseminate 
accurate information in schools across the state 
● Worked with a coalition of higher education institutions to create a student/parent letter encouraging students
 to continue completing college-going steps despite unexpected delays 
● Using social media to celebrate high schools who are making good progress in FAFSA submissions 
● Using our email and social media channels to share valuable updates on the FAFSA process with our network 
of school counselors, community-based organizations, higher education admissions staff, and other 
college access professionals 
● Maintaining a Google Group for school counselors to discuss FAFSA hurdles and work collaboratively
 to find solutions 
● Advocating with both state and congressional legislators to increase funding for FAFSA completion efforts
 and improve accountability around this year’s delayed and rocky FAFSA launch 
● Offering guidance on the effective use of the Department of Education’s FAFSA Challenge Grants 
● Created a comprehensive FAFSA Action Plan to help schools and organizations strategically plan their 
FAFSA completion efforts

MCAN shared further information on this topic:

Michigan is ranked 30th in the country for FAFSA submissions, and we are currently down 12,700 submissions from last school year. The low rate of FAFSA participation means students will miss out on important financial aid opportunities, limiting their postsecondary options and putting college out of reach for many graduating seniors.

How can we make up — or even surpass — that difference? Join MCAN's FAFSA 15 Challenge during the national FAFSA Week of Action! If every Michigan high school submits 15 FAFSA applications during the week of April 15-19, then we would more than make up for the current gap in FAFSA submissions.

Join MCAN in this ambitious goal to support your high school seniors, especially students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and students who would be the first in their family to go to college. For these students especially, skipping the FAFSA this spring likely means a missed college enrollment this fall.

We want to celebrate your success! When your team has supported a minimum of 15 students in submitting the FAFSA, let us know using this quick form, and a special surprise will be delivered to your school. Let’s do this!

To prepare for the FAFSA Week of Action, MCAN encourages schools and community-based organizations to take the following steps:

  • Fill out and email a FAFSA Week of Action Commitment Form by Friday, April 12, and make plans to complete at least one of the activities described on the form. This shows the U.S. Department of Education that we are dedicated to the campaign. The form must be emailed to Jessica.I.Cardichon@who.eop.gov.
  • Gather a group of adults to assist students and families with FAFSA submissions, including times that parents can join virtually or in-person.
  • Raise awareness by using social media, text alerts, morning announcements, or other outlets to share updates and resources. This FAFSA Toolkit contains helpful links and social media assets.

Update (April 18, 2024): MI Student Aid has launched Reach for the Pie to encourage FAFSA completion. High school seniors who submit the FAFSA by June 30, 2024, are eligible to win a "free pizza for a year" gift card worth $750.

We've got your back! MCAN has a list of regional Certified FAFSA Specialists who can support your FAFSA efforts. You can also email Jeneen Hatoum, MCAN director of high school innovation, with questions, to brainstorm, or for moral support. You can also reach Jeneen at 703-577-8595 via call or text.

With your help, we can connect Michigan students with financial aid and keep them on track for postsecondary education. We're all in this together!


» Visit MBN website: www.michiganbusinessnetwork.com/
» Subscribe to MBN’s YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCqNX…
» Like MBN: www.facebook.com/mibiznetwork
» Follow MBN: twitter.com/MIBizNetwork/
» MBN Instagram: www.instagram.com/mibiznetwork/

  • mcan2-1
  • fafsa15
  • FAFSA Cropped
  • web1_fafsa

Michigan Business Beat, hosted by Chris Holman, discusses economic development, new or unusual entrepreneurial initiatives, and successful business practices from different regions and industries around Michigan with a wide range of entrepreneurs and business leaders.

8:00 AM every Monday through Friday
Replay: 8:00 AM, 2:00 PM, 8:00 PM, 2:00 AM The music for 'Michigan Business Beat' is graciously shared use of Phil Denny's "Traffic Jam" off his 2012 CD 'Crossover'

Connect on: