Blue Water College Access Network
St. Clair County's College Resource | July 2021
College Knowledge for EVERYONE
Welcome to your resource for planning, preparing, and going to college after high school. Blue Water College Access Network is here to provide information and opportunities that will ensure you graduate confidently prepared, with plans for career and college beyond high school. Whether you choose to go on to earn a bachelor's degree, an associate degree, or an industry credential, we can help you get there!
Each month, we will publish a newsletter to keep you on track, informed, and engaged in college activities provided by organizations across the county. To subscribe to the newsletter, submit your email address using this form. Past editions of the newsletter can be found at bwcan.org. Contact Nick Beaudry with any questions you might have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our College Stories
How do you plan, prepare, and pay for college? Local grads will tell you how!
Fostering Futures Scholarship Application Deadline Extended
Young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday now have a little more time to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund, according to the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The Fostering Futures Scholarship application period for academic year 2021–22 will stay open until Aug. 1. Eligible students enrolled at a Michigan degree-granting college or university may now apply to receive scholarship funds for tuition, fees, room, board, books and supplies.
>>>Fostering Futures Scholarship 2020–21 FACT SHEET
Summer Success Program
Summer Success Program Featured in Blog
BWCAN's Summer Success Program has been recognized as an impactful model for ensuring a smooth transition to college after graduating. Nick Beaudry wrote a guest blog post for the Michigan College Access network regarding this unique and innovative Summer Success Program. Read it here.
College Advisers Needed to Make a Difference
We, together with our partners at the AdviseMI program, have an opportunity for you!
AdviseMI offers the opportunity to serve directly at Port Huron Northern High School to help our students navigate the college-going process. It’s a chance to make a difference, and get paid for it, during a time when college enrollment for our students is more critical than ever. Take charge of your future by becoming an AdviseMI college adviser at Port Huron Northern today!
To learn more and apply click here: https://micollegeaccess.org/initiatives/advisemi/apply
Fall Semester at SC4 Begins August 23
Not sure which classes you need to take? Have questions about degree and certificate programs, class selection or other concerns? New college students and those transferring from other schools can set up a phone or virtual advising appointment by visiting sc4.edu/advising.
If you’re not quite ready to register and want to get an idea of what’s out there, you can also browse available classes for the fall semester by visiting sc4.edu/schedule.
Not a student yet? Or maybe you haven’t even applied? There’s still time. Visit sc4.edu/starthere and fill out your free application today.
Paying for College
Seven Ways To Be Alert And Informed When Considering Student Loans
As Michiganders prepare for the upcoming fall semester and start paying their college tuition bills, the Michigan Department of Treasury's MI Student Aid Team is asking students and their families to be alert and informed when considering student loans. To make the best decision regarding student loans, the MI Student Aid team recommends seven financial aid best practices tips:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Colleges use information from the FAFSA to determine their financial aid awards. By completing and submitting the FAFSA, students maximize all their financial aid options.
- Understand loans must be repaid. Not all financial aid included in a financial aid award letter is free money. Many financial aid awards will include federal student loans. Unlike grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid with interest.
- Check the amount of interest being offered on a loan before accepting it. Federal student loans, Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students (PLUS) loans, and private loans have varying interest rates and repayment terms. Before taking out loans, students should identify and compare each loan's interest rate and then accept the loans with the best interest rates and repayment terms.
- Only accept the amount you will need. Students can either turn down a loan or request a smaller loan amount, and the financial award letter should include instructions on how to do this.
- Be aware of loan scams. In a typical student loan scam, a scammer will ask for banking information from a student searching for loans. The scammer typically claims they will use the information to make a direct deposit into a student's account in return for upfront fees and gift cards. Instead, the scammer accesses the student's banking account and withdraws funds. In addition, be aware of repayment scams. You don't have to pay for help when repaying student loans. Contact your servicer if you have repayment questions.
- Visit the school's financial aid office once a semester. Even though students may not have to begin repaying their loans while they are in school, students should not wait to understand their responsibilities. Students should know the status of their college's or university's student account and keep track of the types of aid they receive. By making this a habit, students can avoid overborrowing and stay within their budget.
- Create a studentaid.gov account. Studentaid.gov, managed by the U.S. Department of Education, is a one-stop shop for managing federal student aid. With a studentaid.gov account, students can track all their student loans, check the interest rate of each one and total interest accumulated to date. Students can also look over different repayment options, estimate monthly payments and learn who their loan servicer is for when repayment begins.
Get paid to complete the FAFSA!
Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is paying 5,000 students to complete their FAFSA. Thanks to the Michigan Department of Treasury, the $10 Meijer gift cards will be mailed directly to students based on when their FAFSA is submitted - the student doesn't need to do anything but complete their FAFSA and if they are one of the first 5,000 they will receive a mailing! Gift cards are available on a first-complete, first-access basis until they have been exhausted.
Head to fafsa.gov and complete your application today!
School Counselor Fellows Program
MCAN and San Diego State University's Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment are now accepting applications for the 2021 cohort of School Counselor Fellows.
The two-year school counselor fellowship will focus on urgent and timely issues impacting school counselor practice. Fellows will investigate how mental health, wellness, and equity-driven practices influence college and career readiness and postsecondary planning.
This fellowship is free to accepted counselors. Participants commit to monthly meetings (via Zoom), as well as independent assignments, readings, reflections, and projects. This program will be submitted for up to 30 SCECHs.
This is different from the School Counselor Training: Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling course. Participation in one is not dependent on or impacted by participation in the other.
Applications must be completed by August 18, 2021
Contact Autumn Kearney, Strategy Manager for High School Innovation
College Bound Michigan
What is College Bound Michigan?
College Bound Michigan (CBMI) is a suite of initiatives designed to build and support college-going cultures in high schools and their surrounding communities. MCAN’s work helps school counselors, college advisers, and other educators create systems and practices that connect all students with the opportunity for formal education beyond high school, including postsecondary certificates and academic degrees. CBMI brings together all of the statewide initiatives — Michigan College Month, College Cash Campaign, and Decision Day — into one campaign to help bring Michigan closer to Sixty by 30.
Are you ready to be a game changer?
As we enter the 10th year of the CBMI campaign, we are declaring a game-changing year! After two years that upended the very notion of “normal,” we want our partners to enter the 2021-22 school year with a perspective characterized by innovation and optimism. Our shared work requires constant creativity and strategic execution, as our planning must be both proactive and reactive to what students are experiencing. Our hope is that site coordinators will feel empowered by this season of change and create game-changing opportunities for their students.
We are shifting our investment and support to you: the teams who lead the development and implementation of a college-going culture in your community. In doing so, we have decided to implement the following changes:
- We will be shifting funds formerly reserved for student incentives to offer schools flexible grant opportunities to implement game-changing programming that inspires and excites your students as they prepare for the transition to postsecondary education.
- We will be elevating learning communities for site coordinators to engage in forum-style planning discussions, giving you space to brainstorm game-changing strategies for common roadblocks.
- We will be providing each school counseling department with a physical Game Changer Kickoff Pack to properly celebrate your game-changing year and you, the game changer!
Why should my school sign up?
As a CBMI Host Site, you will have access to:
- Exclusive grant opportunities
- Cash incentives for schools and students
- Promotional materials
- Student-facing, grab-and-go resources
- Counselor/adviser-facing toolkits and implementation guides
- Professional development opportunities
- Access to a peer learning community and dependable support
Register by August 2nd to ensure your Game Changer Kickoff Pack and other resources will be available at the start of your school year. Do you have questions? Contact Chloe Edmonds, strategy assistant for High School Innovation.
Roadmap to Opportunity: Machine Tool Technology
Roadmap to Opportunity Professional Development Series
The Roadmap to Opportunity professional development series will provide counselors, college advisers, and others with an opportunity to learn more about stackable credentials and supporting students pursuing in-demand fields. Hear from community college experts and high school leaders about ways to utilize Roadmap to Opportunity assets with students and colleagues.
Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling
Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling
The Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling course is designed for school counselors, college and career advisers, and educators. Participants will build on their knowledge of equity-centered counseling and advising practices that support student postsecondary exploration, planning, enrollment, and persistence.
The Fall 2021 course will run Aug. 20 - Dec. 17 and includes five online meetings, which will be held monthly, as well as independent work. The course will be co-hosted by MCAN and the Center for Equity and Postsecondary Attainment at San Diego State University (CEPA). Dr. Laura Owen, school counselor educator and executive director of CEPA, will serve as facilitator.
Registration is open to all school counselors, including those who have previously completed an MCAN counselor training course. However, priority will be granted to individuals who have not previously enrolled. Remaining seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional names will be placed on a waiting list.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Chloe Edmonds, strategy assistant for High School Innovation, via email at email@example.com or by calling 517-896-0899.