LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was one of the more than 120 people in attendance at the Michigan College Access Network’s (MCAN) third annual College Access Advocacy Day event on Wednesday, April 17, in Boji Tower. The event was co-sponsored by the Michigan Promise Zones Association (MPZA).

Champions of postsecondary education such as Local College Access Networks (LCANs), college access and success organizations, Michigan’s Promise Zones, philanthropy, K-12, higher education and legislators discussed postsecondary education attainment strategies, challenges, and opportunities in Michigan. Gov. Whitmer addressed the importance of increasing the talent pool in Michigan through higher education and the new statewide goal of 60 percent of Michigan residents with college degrees or postsecondary credentials by 2030.

“Participants from across the state came to Lansing to send an important message to lawmakers: college is a necessity. Education beyond high school is critical for Michigan’s future,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN interim executive director. “College is for everyone, and we capitalized on the opportunity to lift up the programs and people working to make postsecondary education more attainable.”

For the eighth year in a row, Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate has increased — from 35.7 percent of 25-to-64-year-olds possessing at least an associate degree in 2008, to 41 percent in 2018. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s attainment rate to 45 percent as of 2019.

MCAN’s goal is to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent. This year, MCAN will focus on advocating for more school counselors to help students plan for college, increasing FAFSA completion rates, expanding early college credit options, increasing need-based student financial aid, and increasing support for higher education. Learn about MCAN’s 2019 Legislative Priorities.


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