Dear College Application Week Site Coordinator:
On behalf of the Michigan College Access Network, thank you for hosting a College Application Week event October 29 to November 2 at your school! The goal of College Application Week is to provide all seniors at participating high schools the opportunity to apply to college.
While the focus of College Application Week is particularly on first-generation college students and students who may not otherwise apply to college, we encourage participating high schools to include activities for all students, including freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who have already applied to college. The involvement of all your students in College Application Week will help your school build its college-going culture at your high school.
This is the second year College Application Week has been implemented in Michigan. We thank you for helping drive this program and we look forward to continuing this tradition across Michigan for years to come.
To help you prepare for the event, we are pleased to provide the following resources:
Site Coordinator Resource Guide
Site Coordinator Checklist
Volunteer Recruitment Materials
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns about planning and implementing the event at your school. I will be sure to keep you updated regarding any changes or additional information you may find useful. Be sure to check our website – www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week for program information for this year’s College Application Week!
We hope that you will share your successes and new ideas with us to strengthen the initiative. If you have questions, contact me at (517) 316-1713 or CAW@micollegeaccess.org.
Thank you in advance for your commitment to this important college access event. Your participation will encourage Michigan students and their families to make college a part of their future.
Assistant Director, Michigan College Access Network
WHAT’S IN A NAME? UNDERSTANDING THE WORD “COLLEGE”
College is important – there’s no doubt about it. At least 62 percent of all new jobs in Michigan will require a college education by 2018, and Michigan needs tens of thousands more college graduates to build our economy1. But what does that mean for our students?
Most workforce developers and education leaders use the word “college” to include any type of postsecondary education or education and training beyond high school. That means students have many options when it comes to attending college. But it also means a high school diploma is no longer enough.
On average, four-year college graduates earn more than double the salary of individuals who stopped their education after high school.2 And students who complete some form of postsecondary education are far less likely to be unemployed than those with just a high school diploma.
Every Michigan student should plan to complete some type of education beyond high school. The good news is Michigan’s colleges and universities offer a wide variety of education options to fit the unique needs of all of our state’s students. Options include:
Certificate or Licensing Programs: Certificate and licensing programs are specialized plans of study that are usually intended for students planning to pursue a trade. Most of these programs can be completed in a matter of months, and Michigan’s public community and technical colleges offer several certificate and licensing programs throughout the year. Additionally, some employers and/or trade groups offer such programs.
Associate’s Degrees: Associate’s degrees are typically awarded to students who complete a two-year period of study at a college. These degrees are often required for technical fields, but students can also pursue two-year degrees in business or other professional careers. Students can earn an associate’s degree at any of Michigan’s public community and technical colleges — and associate’s degree students are often eligible for many financial aid programs.
Bachelor’s Degrees: Bachelor’s degrees (or baccalaureate degrees) are typically awarded to students who complete a four-year period of study at a college or university. Students pursuing a bachelor’s degree take classes in their career field and in general education subject areas. Bachelor’s degree students also often qualify for state and federal financial aid programs.
We intend for these documents to be a useful guide for Site Coordinators when planning and implementing a College Application Week event. The full and some individual sections of this Resource Manual are available online at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week for you to download and print.
Site Coordinator Checklist 5
Key Reminders: Prior to and during College Application Week 9
Sample Schedule(s) for Event Day 10
Application Fees and Fee Waivers 11
Student Resource Guide & Checklist 13
College Application Checklist 14
Student Interest Survey 21
Frequently Asked Questions about Independent and Public Colleges 22
Application Personal Statement and Essay 24
MI College Average Requirements 25
Trade & Vocational School Information 26
Military School Worksheet 28
Creating a College-Going Culture 29
Complementary Activities List 30
Promoting College Application Week at Your School Poster 32
College Application Week Poster Template 33
Sample Poster 34
Ask Me About It! 35
College Alumni and Family Night 35
Sample “Ask Me About It” Poster 36
Scavenger Hunt 38
Sample Press Release 42
Example Social Media Tools 43
Sample Newsletter 43
Sample Letter to the Editor 44
Sample Letter for Students and Families (in English and Spanish) 45
Informative Letter 45
Family Follow up Letter on FAFSA 47
An Overview for Teachers, Staff, and Community Members 49
Volunteer Resource Guide 50
Recruitment Letter 51
Volunteer Information on College Application Week 52
Volunteer Tasks 53
Volunteer Training Agenda 54
Thank You Letter 55
Student Sign-In Sheet 57
Submitting the Application – “Now What?” Student Handout 58
College Goal Sunday 60
College Glossary 61
MCAN would like to thank the College Foundation of North Carolina and the College Foundation of West Virginia for their help in creating this Resource Guide, of which sections have been adapted from their respective guides.
Site Coordinator Checklist
This is a recommended planning process and timeline. You are welcome to adjust dates to fit your school best. Use the blank spaces for additional tasks necessary for planning your event. Remember, the earlier you are able to complete these tasks the better!
Review Site Coordinator Resource Manual. www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week
Participate in a site coordinator webinar training.
Set up a College Application Week committee or team at your school to discuss the timeline of events and activities. This may include school counselors, teachers, students, administrators, parents/guardians, LCAN representative, etc.
application information and selecting colleges. Feel free to include activities for 9th-11th grade students to prepare them early for applying to college!
Elect to participate each day of College Application Week, or just one day during this week and confirm the event date(s) with the school and district’s master calendar.
Review recorded Site Coordinator training webinar found at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week. (available after Sept. 10 if unable to participate on Aug. 29)
Review recorded Michigan College Access Portal training webinar found at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week
Plan a schedule for your event(s) – what students/classes will be in the computer lab at what times and / or what other college access activities will be available to students. Share final plans with MCAN.
Plan and prepare outreach and publicity efforts to get the word out about your event in your community. Discuss with your team possible volunteers and/or speakers to recruit.
Press release to local newspapers and TV stations
Invite media and/or a “guest speaker” such as a community/political/business leader, alumni, college professor, student, parent/guardian, etc. to attend your schools’ event.
Brainstorm locations to hang flyers outside of the high school (public library, churches, coffee shop, etc.)
Encourage business community to wear college clothing/promote week
Adding information to school and district website
Robo calls to parents (if school already has system in place)
Confirm that all seniors have a Michigan College Access Portal account (www.MichiganCAP.org) and have completed their profile and academics/scores section.
Recruit volunteers to assist during College Application Week by using the volunteer letter. We estimate you will need at least two volunteers at any given time. MCAN will contact local colleges to invite admission staff to volunteer during your College Application Week event. Volunteers need to understand the application process, consider reaching out to college representatives. MCAN will assist with volunteer recruitment but it is up to your site to confirm all volunteers.
Consider working with Art teacher to create classroom challenge for College Application Week poster design. If limited on time, ask Art teacher to select one or two students to design poster as class project.
If all seniors are required to take an English course, confirm with teachers that a college essay assignment can be built into week of Oct. 22
Remind students to consider taking or re-taking the SAT/ACT depending on the institution of interest.
Encourage all teachers to relate lessons to College Application Week.
Confirm the event date(s) with the school and district’s technology team to ensure the computer labs are ready to go.
If paper applications are needed, request copies via MCAN or your college representative.
Have printer accessible if student is unable to complete the application online
Verify that there are no firewall issues with institutional websites
Verify which seniors have not applied to a postsecondary institution and encourage these students to meet with counselors and research colleges and universities on www.MichiganCAP.org.
Give the “Ask Me About It” flyer to all staff and request they hang it on their door.
Send student and parent letter. Notify both students and parents of evening and/or daytime information session(s) to them assist them in preparing information needed for the event.
Encourage students to visit www.MichiganCAP.org to explore colleges and universities.
Include information about reviewing the list of colleges and universities without application fees during College Application Week
Remind them that students will need a credit card to apply to a college or university with application fees. If a credit card is not possible, the student can print the application and mail it in with a check.
Students can meet with their counselor or college adviser to discuss application fee waivers.
Finalize volunteer list.
Confirm the time and place for all volunteers.
Provide school visitor/volunteer policy (if applicable)
Encourage them to wear college clothing.
Share with all volunteers the volunteer guide which can be found at www.micollegeaccess.org/events/college-application-week
Provide any security clearance information.
Once the list of volunteers has been finalized, ensure that all volunteers have the necessary security clearance to assist in the school during College Application Week.
Assist English teacher with College Essay homework assignment to prepare students for College Application Week.
Host student/parent/guardian event(s) (day and/or night) to assist students and parents/guardians who have questions or need help with the College Application Checklist.
Remind volunteers of time and place and confirm attendance by sending the volunteer information form. Encourage them to wear college clothing.
Confirm publicity and/or attendance of guest speakers.
Confirm all seniors have completed their College Application Checklist.
Remind teachers, counselors, administrators of the day’s schedule and planned activities. Ask them to wear college clothing on event day and decorate their classrooms with “college-going culture” materials.
Ensure your event supplies are ready.
Envelopes and stamps for students that need to mail hard copy applications