College & Career Access Center

Quarterly Newsletter: 1st Quarter 2023

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The CCAC wants to give a special "Thank You" to our board member, Marla Sanford, for using her passions and talents to create an exciting logo that celebrates the CCAC's 15th year of service!

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The CCAC Annual President's Day FAFSA Event

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February 20, 2023 marked the CCAC’s 7th year hosting its annual President’s Day FAFSA Event. Students and their families had the option of visiting the Center in-person or joining us via Zoom. We had a great day of assisting students in completing their FAFSA well ahead of the Michigan deadline, securing eligibility for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. Families also enjoy delicious southern style BBQ prepared by our very own Rey de Barbecue, Brian Green.

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The Michigan Achievement Scholarship: Changing the Financial Aid Landscape

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In October 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that, beginning in 2023, students who graduate in Michigan with a high school diploma, certificate of completion, or high school equivalency can apply for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship. This opportunity will significantly lower their cost of college attendance. For some, the cost of education will be reduced by thousands of dollars each year. Students should talk to their parents/guardians, gather their tax information, and file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this new scholarship opportunity. Students who are eligible for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship may receive the following financial assistance from the State of Michigan:

  • Up to $2,000 per year to attend an eligible private training provider in Michigan - up to two years
  • Up to $2,750 per year to attend a community college - up to three years.
  • Up to $5,500 per year to attend a public university - up to five years.
  • Up to $4,000 per year to attend a private college or university - up to five years.

Students will be eligible if their family demonstrates financial need when they complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 'Financial need' is defined as an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of $25,000 or less.

Prior year graduates are not currently eligible but High school seniors or students earning their high school equivalency or certificate of completion in 2023 can get started by filing the FAFSA. Visit for program information, frequently asked questions, and more.

What Should You Know About the Michigan Reconnect Scholarship Program?

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If you are thinking about beginning your college career, or returning to education to prepare for a secure and rewarding career, now is the time! The Michigan Reconnect is a scholarship program for eligible adults, 25 years and older, who have not yet earned an associate degree or skills certificate. In order to be eligible for Michigan Reconnect, adults must meet the following criteria:

Students must be

  • 25 years of age or older
  • a high school graduate or equivalent
  • a Michigan resident for at least one year
  • be pursuing their first college degree (associate or bachelor)

Michigan Reconnect covers the remaining balance of in-district tuition and mandatory fees after other state and federal financial aid has been applied. Students who attend out-of-district community colleges will receive a significant tuition discount.

The application for Michigan Reconnect, and additional program information, is available now at

Apply Today:

Meet Our CCAC Student of the Month

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Meet the College and Career Access Center’s Student of the Month: Desmond Flourry is a Western High School Senior, who is eager to reach his post-secondary education and career goals. Desmond plans to attend Jackson College in the Fall to pursue a degree in Education. His long-term goal is to to teach at the middle or high school level. Desmond shared with us,“I would love to teach Math or English,” Mr. Flourry attributes his inspiration to his very own teacher from Western High School, Ms. Price. “She has helped me get through everything,”

In his free time, Desmond enjoys participating in theater and hanging out with his family and friends. His favorite aspect of the theater is meeting new and interesting people and being able to collaborate artistically with them. He was recently cast in the production Puffs. Desmond’s proudest accomplishment is being elected Snow Fest King and making in his Senior year at Western. Desmond offers us these motivational words for his peers, “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. Keep pushing, it’s worth it in the end!” Thank you for being an inspiration, Desmond!

Welcome to the CCAC Quarterly Business Highlight

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The CCAC is pleased to highlight Howe Equipment as our local Business of the Quarter. Howe Equipment, owned by Matthew (Matt) Howe, is a power sports and equipment dealership and service shop. Founded in 2018, Matt started this business as a “side hustle” to earn some extra income by selling items such as washers, dryers, and couches, while working as a full-time teacher at Northwest Community Schools. After selling around 30 items within his first year, he decided to expand and sell larger items, such as mowers and trailers. Eventually, he was able to fully replace his teaching income and decided to pursue his business full-time. In 2021, Matt purchased the old Susan Vaughn School of Dance studio on Lansing Avenue and turned it into a repair and service shop and showroom for trailers, mowers, and other large pieces of equipment.

When Matt first started his business, he turned to YouTube to learn as much as he could about running a successful business. Two individuals, Alex Hormozie and Grand Cardone, who share videos about successful business and marketing strategies, really motivated and inspired him to reach for success. Now, Matt makes videos showcasing the work they do at Howe Equipment. In fact, one customer from Georgia saw these videos and called to get advice on buying the appropriate engine for his mower. This was definitely a crazy experience for Matt as he was able to see how much of an impact his videos and work made on someone from out of state.

Matt’s future goals for his business are to license the successful business strategies that he has developed and dive into consulting and coaching other businesses on best practices and strategies. His greatest words of inspiration for others that are hoping to start a business are, “stop researching and go try - you learn more by doing things for a period of time than you do researching for years.”

Be sure to give Howe Equipment a visit and check out their YouTube Channel:

3190 Lansing Ave, Jackson, MI 49202

(517) 315-4157

Welcome to the CCAC College of the Quarter

The CCAC’s College of the Quarter is Howard University. Located in Washington, D.C., Howard University is one of the most well-known historically black college or university (HBCU) in the United States. Howard University is committed to “the elimination of inequities related to race, color, social, economic and political circumstances” and strives to “improve the circumstances of all people in the search for peace and justice on earth” through their expansive and comprehensive academic programs.

Howard University offers its students over 130 academic programs, including programs in the arts, sciences, law, and medicine. The university prioritizes student success and addresses the diverse needs of their student population through the Office of Student Services. Some services they offer include disability support, military/veteran, and student wellness support services. Outside of academics, Howard University has over 200 clubs and organizations ranging from various sports and international clubs to student honor societies and religious organizations.

Howard University is a private institution with an annual cost of attendance of about $46,930, not including indirect costs or financial aid assistance. Financial aid is available to students who complete the FAFSA and qualify. Howard University also offers internal scholarships and grants for which students can apply. To learn more about Howard University, be sure to visit this link: Remember, the CCAC is a FREE service to help you with all things college! Be sure to visit us for assistance with your college applications, financial aid, scholarships, and enrollment tasks.

We Thank Our Jackson Partners and Collaborators Who Make the CCAC's Work Possible

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