Blue Water College Access Network

St. Clair County's College Resource | May 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 Contact Nick Beaudry with any questions you might have at

Spring 2021 Essentials

Spring 2021 Essentials Webinar Series

Spring is an important time to begin preparing for the next school year. There are steps all high school students, not just graduating seniors, can take to ensure there are no gaps in their career and college planning. Our Webinars will help you develop a plan for the fall, set educational goals, and enjoy a stress-free summer!

The next event is Tuesday, May 18 at 7PM | Register now for Class of 2024: Welcome to Your First Year of High School

Spring Essentials for the Class of 2022

Spring & Summer Checklist: A To-Do List for the Graduating Class of 2022

The spring and summer months are an important time for high school juniors to start preparing for their senior year. Students can begin exploring colleges and majors, researching financial aid options and scholarships, and building their resumes and portfolios for college admissions and scholarship applications. Follow this simple checklist to help guide you over the next few months.

And check out the webinar below -- you’ll hear from a panel of counselors as they discuss things you can do to put yourself ahead of the game come fall with scholarships, applications, and much more.

Welcome to Your Senior Year of High School
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Registration for SC4 fall classes is open

Current and new students can register for fall classes via Student Planning in the Portal. Undecided students can utilize college resources for help through the process of their educational journey. Additionally, registration for summer classes is also open. Students are encouraged to register early to stay on your path, earn credits for transfer, or finish your degree or certificate.

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Paying for College

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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 and complete your application today!

Community Foundation Scholarships Still Available

We have a limited number of scholarship opportunities remaining for the 2021/2022 academic year. For more information (including eligibility criteria) and the application click here:

Fostering Futures Scholarship Application Period Now Open

Young Adults Who Experienced Foster Care On or After 13th Birthday Eligible to Apply

The Michigan Department of Treasury reminds young adults who have experienced foster care on or after their 13th birthday that they are eligible to apply for a scholarship from the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund.

The Fostering Futures Scholarship application period for academic year 2021-22 will stay open until June 30, 2021. 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 Scholarships make a difference in the lives of our foster care youth who aspire to attend college,” said Robin Lott, director of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning. “Those who have experienced foster care typically don’t have the support systems in place for college costs. Every dollar helps create opportunities for our youth who have experienced foster care.”

Since 2012, fundraising efforts have totaled more than $1.3 million. This money has been raised through individual donations, group donations, sponsorships, ticket sales, auctions and many volunteer-based fundraising events.

Most of the funds raised have been awarded as scholarships, with a small portion being designated to an education endowment that supplies investment income for scholarships.

To learn more about the Fostering Futures Scholarship, go to

Fostering Future Scholarship applicants with questions should contact the state Treasury Department’s Student Scholarships and Grants area at or call toll-free at 1-888-4-GRANTS (888-447-2687).

Cardinal Commitment

The SVSU Cardinal Commitment - Four Years, Tuition Free for Qualifying Students

Saginaw Valley State University's Cardinal Commitment financial aid package provides four years of free tuition for eligible first-time in college students in Michigan who have a family adjusted gross income of $50,000 or less and meet eligibility criteria. Find out if you qualify and learn more at

Find more FREE tuition opportunities

The Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) has compiled a quick reference guide of the Free Tuition Programs for Low-Income Students at 4-year Colleges and Universities in Michigan. Bridge Magazine has also done the work of compiling a list of Michigan colleges that offer free tuition and who might qualify. Tuition is just part of the cost of college, so be on the lookout for colleges/programs that might offset other costs such as housing.

Counselor Corner

Each month, counselors can find current college and career counseling professional learning opportunities in the Counselor Corner section of the BWCAN newsletter. A running compilation of opportunities can also be found on the Counselors page at

Professional Learning Opportunities for Counselors from MCAN

MCAN offers a variety of FREE professional learning opportunities for counselors including the School Counselor Fellows Program and ​School Counselor Training: Foundations of Equity in College and Career Counseling, along with a variety of upcoming webinars and recorded webinars, all of which may earn you SCECHs.

Roadmap to Opportunity Webinar Series
During the month of May, MCAN will be hosting a four-part Roadmap to Opportunity webinar series. Webinars will focus on the following topics:

  • The importance of high school and community college partnerships,
  • Preparing students for stackable credential pathways,
  • Supporting students to and through stackable credential programs, and
  • Empowering professionals to map out credential pathways within their own communities.
The webinar series begins May 4. Sessions will be hosted by experts familiar with K-12 and postsecondary community partnerships, stackable credential and career pathway programs, as well as leaders in the field of college access.

​Each webinar may be eligible for one SCECH in career exploration. SCECHs also can be earned by viewing webinar recordings, which will be available after webinar completion, through the end of August. Upon viewing a recording, successful completion of the accompanying SCECH quiz is required.

Michigan Virtual Offers Professional Learning Opportunities

Michigan Virtual offers a wide array of FREE professional learning opportunities for educators, including courses designed specifically for counselors. Among the courses are college and career counseling courses ranging in flexibility and credit hours, including:

College Counseling:
Building a College List (3 SCECHs, Self-Paced)
Developing College Counseling Curriculum (16 SCECHs, Self-Paced)
Effective Meetings with Juniors (3 SCECHs, Self-Paced)
Relationships with Admissions Officers (3 SCECHs, Self-Paced)
Start Early with 9-10 Graders (4 SCECHs, Self-Paced)
Writing Effective Counselor Letters (3 SCECHs, Self-Paced)

Career Counseling:
Building a Resume (10 SCECHs, Facilitated) **NEW COURSE**

Understanding the Modern Military (5 SCECHs, Self-Paced)

Contact Nick Beaudry, Supervisor of Career and College Programs, St. Clair County RESA

Blue Water College Access Network

For more college-going information, resources, and events, visit the BWCAN website.