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“Race to the FAFSA Line” Challenge Returns to Boost Federal Aid Going to Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County Students

Detroit, Mich. (Oct. 1, 2018) – Today, the Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge opened for school participation in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. The Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degrees initiative promotes the challenge to encourage high school seniors to apply for college aid and increase the regional completion rate.

The Chamber began the challenge in 2016, but despite the hard work of school counselors and local college access networks, Southeast Michigan students left potentially $167 million of federal aid on the table by not filling out the FAFSA. According to the National College Access Network, high school graduates who complete FAFSA are 63 percent more likely to enroll in college.

Any school in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties is eligible to participate in the Challenge led by the Chamber’s Detroit Drives Degree’s initiative. The challenge is a collaborative effort involving the following partners: Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), Emagine Entertainment, Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU), Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Oakland Schools, Wayne RESA, and several local college access networks. The challenge is supported by DTE Energy, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank and University of Michigan-Dearborn.

The goal is to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in the tri-county region to 65 percent and encourage them to take the next step to postsecondary education. One grand prize winner will be awarded an all-day senior class party and the four additional winners will receive VIP movie screenings, courtesy of Emagine Entertainment.

New this year, schools that sign up will also be registered for the College Cash Campaign through MCAN, the statewide FAFSA challenge that provides additional prizes to schools with improved completion rates across the state.

Schools can sign up and learn more about Race to the FAFSA Line at: http://www.detroitchamber.com/race-to-the-fafsa-line/register/.

About Detroit Drives Degrees

Detroit Drives Degrees works to improve education attainment to increase economic prosperity and social mobility in the Detroit region. An initiative of the Detroit Regional Chamber’s Forward Detroit economic development strategy, it is dedicated to increasing access to college for the region’s students and adults currently without degrees, improving college graduation success, and retaining talent. The Leadership Council, formed through the initiative, mobilizes regional leaders in business, education, government and the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to increase the postsecondary degree attainment rate in the region to 60 percent by 2030. To learn more, visit detroitdrivesdegrees.com.

 About the Detroit College Access Network

The Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) is the coordinating body of cross-sector leaders and organizations in Detroit working together to ensure all Detroit students have the opportunity to attend college. It is a network of organizations – bigger than any one program or initiative – leveraging a collective impact model to align and connect existing programs, schools, businesses and community resources to improve college enrollment and graduation rates for all Detroit students. DCAN’s mission is to increase postsecondary readiness, enrollment and attainment so that all students in Detroit can achieve their educational dreams. To learn more, visit detroitcan.org.

About Emagine Entertainment

Emagine Entertainment’s affiliates currently own and operate luxury theatres in Michigan, Illinois, and Minnesota.  Emagine operates theatres with a combined 24,500 seats and 208 screens. Later this summer, Emagine will open an 8-screen theatre in the Town of Lyons, Wisconsin.  Emagine has led the way in bringing luxury theatres to the metropolitan Detroit market.  Emagine enjoys the honor and distinction of being named “Best Movie Theatre” for several years running by the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, and WDIV-TV 4 television.

About Michigan Association of State Universities

The Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) serves as the coordinating board for Michigan’s 15 public universities, providing advocacy and fostering policy to maximize the collective value these institutions provide in serving the public interest and the state of Michigan. MASU recently launched a new website and marketing campaign to support FAFSA completion and college-going across the state, GetMIDegree.org.

About the Michigan College Access Network

As the leader in the state’s college access movement, the Michigan College Access Network’s mission is to increase Michigan’s college readiness, participation and completion rates, particularly among low-income, first-generation college-going students, and students of color. For the seventh 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 39.4 percent in 2016. Additionally, it is estimated another 4 percent of Michiganders have a high-quality certificate, bringing Michigan’s official attainment rate to 43.7 percent. It is MCAN’s goal to increase Michigan’s postsecondary educational attainment rate to 60 percent by the year 2025. For more information, visit micollegeaccess.org.