Niles High School receives $1,000 college access grant

Published 10:42 am Thursday, May 11, 2023

LANSING — Niles High School was one of 97 schools in Michigan to receive part of a $95,438 grant from the Michigan College Access Network.

MCAN awarded these grants to high schools and community-based organizations across Michigan to support local college access activities. Schools and organizations participating in MCAN’s College Bound Michigan program were given the opportunity to apply for up to $1,000 in grant funding.

College Bound Michigan is a suite of three initiatives designed to build and support college-going cultures in high schools and their surrounding communities throughout the school year. It comprises Michigan College Month (October), which provides resources and support for college applications; College Cash Campaign (January-June), which encourages FAFSA completion and applying for financial aid; and College Decision Day (around May 1), which celebrates students who choose to pursue postsecondary education. There is no cost to participate in College Bound Michigan.

“College Bound Michigan is helping students across the state find the resources and financial support to attend and complete college, putting them on track for rewarding careers,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “We’re proud to partner with schools and fund these valuable activities, because we know higher education is transformative for both individuals and their larger communities. As we work together to reach Sixty by 30 and build a workforce that’s ready for the modern economy, we must ensure that all students — especially low-income students, first- generation college-going students and students of color — have access to postsecondary degrees and certificates that will prepare them for the job market.”

Schools and organizations used the grants to support a wide variety of efforts, including FAFSA completion events, career and college exposure trips, incentives for completing college-going steps, and decorations or refreshments for College Decision Day. Flexibility was built into the application process, giving applicants the chance to address the specific needs of their community.

“At Niles Community Schools, we actively work with our high school community and continuously search for opportunities to provide resources and help our students explore postsecondary options,” said Niles Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Applegate. “We are lucky to have incredible partners supporting our mission, including the Berrien College Access Network and the United Way of Southwest Michigan. Alongside these organizations, we have been able to support countless students as they achieve their postsecondary educational and career goals. Our focus, in more recent years, has been to connect students to local, well-paying and high-demand careers while they continue their training and education. The MCAN grant helps to continue spreading awareness for these helpful resources available in our district.”