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College Affordability

All students graduating from a Michigan high school should have the financial knowledge, literacy, and readiness to understand the costs and benefits of postsecondary education.

Affordability is the most commonly cited barrier to postsecondary education. There is a fundamental disconnect between the perceived cost of college and the real cost of college, particularly for low-income, first-generation college students who are the most eligible for financial assistance. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average student in Michigan receives $12,250 in financial aid toward postsecondary education per year—however, many aren't aware that this assistance exists.

At the state level, MCAN and its partners advocate for policies that improve affordability, such as increasing state funding for need-based student financial aid. MCAN also coordinates Michigan College Month and FAFSA completion campaign programs like College Cash Campaign to encourage more students to complete the paperwork required to access financial aid. Additionally, we support local efforts related to affordability through targeted grantmaking. To make these strategies as successful as possible, MCAN works to improve access to and dissemination of data from tools like the federal student aid FAFSA completion database.