FLINT, Michigan — For the seventh consecutive year, the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) is working to guarantee that all Genesee County high school seniors have the opportunity to apply for college through its Genesee County Career and College Access Network (GCCCAN) program.
“Many students and families are unaware that this is a great time to complete college applications as a way to maximize admissions and scholarship opportunities,” said Corrine Walworth, coordinator for GCCCAN. “Applying to colleges early can not only maximize a student’s admissions chances but also scholarship opportunities.”
October is Michigan College Month when many colleges and universities across the state are waiving their application fees. As part of the program, local school districts will be focused on making sure high school seniors get the proper information they need about applying to college.
Also, new this year is the Michigan Assured Admission Pact (MAAP) which “is an agreement with 10 public universities to admit all Michigan high school graduates who earned a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or above using a 4.0 scale,” according to Walworth.
Walworth also stated that these annual efforts are supported by the Michigan College Access Network, high school counselors, college advisors, and members of the community.
She also emphasized one of the most important steps for students and families is making sure they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
. This year, the FAFSA forms are being revised and, more importantly, simplified. Due to the changes in the FAFSA forms, they will not be available until December.
Nevertheless, Walworth points out that students and their parents or guardians should still go to the FAFSA website to create their user ID, which is required to complete the FAFSA application. “This is the most important step in getting money for college,” according to Walworth. “The FAFSA helps connect students to scholarships, grants, loans, work-study opportunities, and it determines the amount of financial aid students receive,” said Walworth.
It’s also important to note that completing the FAFSA is the lone way for high school seniors to determine their eligibility for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship
. Walworth estimates that 8 out of 10 students in Michigan who enroll in college will be eligible. This particular scholarship covers up to three years at a community college and five years at a four-year college or university.
There are also county programs that grants funds for college and career training to students such as the Genesee Opportunity (GO)
stipend and Flint Promise
. “When it comes to any of these programs, the best first step for students is to reach out to their local high school counselor,” said Walworth.
Another initiative that both GISD and GCCCAN are continuing to support is Michigan’s Sixty by 30 program
. They are working in collaboration with network partners to build awareness of higher education or the chance to earn a certification for Genesee County students and residents. The goal of the program is to have 60% of all working-age adults in the county have earned either a skilled certificate or college degree by the year 2030.
To learn more about the work of Genesee Intermediate School District, visit: geneseeisd.org
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