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Resources for Navigating Higher Education During COVID-19

April 6, 2020
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As we move through the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important for those pursing a higher education to have proper guidance to help them navigate the education system to ensure their future plans stay on track. The resources below aim to help high school seniors, adult learners, and higher education institutions during these uncertain times.

Featured: Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures For Frontliners,” A G.I. Bill Program For Essential Workers

The “Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies.  Learn more.

Student Loan Resources

Resources for High School Seniors Navigating College Transition

Test Optional for College Admission in Michigan

Michigan colleges and universities have shared their test optional practices for college admission. The Michigan College Access Network has compiled this summary to ensure school counselors, college advisers, and other direct service providers can share the most up-to-date information with their students.

College Board’s Career Finder Premium

College Board is taking action to ensure all students have the opportunities and resources they need during this uncertain time by offering all students and schools free access to Career Finder Premium, now through the end of July 2020. Career Finder helps students understand their college and career options after high school through personalized career exploration tools, in-demand career opportunities with salary data, and an expense calculator.

SwiftStudent: Financial Aid Assistance

SwiftStudent is a tool that helps students appeal their financial aid award packages – a service that is extremely important right now given the changing financial circumstances for families – by making the appeal process simple and transparent for students.

OneGoal: COVID-19 Post-secondary Resources and Tools

OneGoal’s vision is that every young person will have an equitable opportunity to achieve their highest post-secondary aspiration. This broad list of resources aims to support students, teachers, guidance counselors, and parents with a successful post-secondary transition. Learn more.

Detroit Drives Degrees and Detroit College Access Network (DCAN) Webinar Series

This webinar series for high school seniors will cover the next steps in the college transition process.

The Road to Higher Education: College Prep Checklist
Tuesday, April 7
1:30-2 p.m.
View Recording

Join Michigan State College Advising Corps alumnus Kennisha Williams as she speaks to high-school seniors who intend to enroll at a college for the Fall 2020 semester. From picking the best college for you, to navigating the enrollment process—an expert college adviser will walk you through the steps you will need to take each month to ensure you are ready to attend your first class in Fall 2020.

Welcome to FAFSA 101
Thursday, April 9
1:30-2 p.m.
View Recording

Join University of Michigan College Advising Corps alumnus Christina Johnson  as she speaks to high-school seniors about how FAFSA completion allows you to be considered for federal student aid, in addition to the FAFSA being an essential part of how colleges and states determine eligibility for more financial aid. An expert college adviser will explain the steps to complete your FAFSA and resources that can make the process as straightforward as possible.

What’s Next: Award Letters and the FAFSA Verification Process
Tuesday, April 14
1:30-2 p.m.
View Recording

Join Michigan State College Advising Corps alumnus Kennisha Williams as she speaks to students about the FAFSA verification process and learning exactly how to determine the amount of aid they will receive by reading their award letters. At the end of the session, students will have the opportunity to have questions answered as well as be steered towards resources that will be able to support student-specific questions.

How to Navigate a Student Portal
Thursday, April 16
1:30-2 p.m.
View Recording

Join University of Michigan College Advising Corps alumnus Christina Johnson as she speaks to high-school seniors accepted to higher education institutions how to navigate their student portals. From accepting financial aid, completing housing applications, and accessing your college email, tune in to get an overview of why keeping track of your student portal is important.

The College Freshman’s Guide to Time Management
Tuesday, April 21
1:30-2 p.m.
View Recording

Join University of Michigan College Advising Corps alumnus Christina Johnson as she speaks to high-school seniors accepted to higher education institutions how to manage their time while in college. We will review how to read a class syllabus, manage term papers, and projects while having fun and coping with stress in the unfamiliar terrain that is college.

How to Finance Your Education: Understanding Scholarships, Grants, Work Study, and Loans
Tuesday, April 28
1:30-2 p.m.
Recording coming soon

Join Michigan State University College Advising Corps alumnus Kennisha Williams as she speaks to students about the different ways to finance their college education. She will be discussing the differences in types of financial aid offered and common work study jobs offered to students. Students will have the opportunity to have their questions answered at the end of the session.

Selecting Your Best Fit School
Thursday, April 30
1:30-2 p.m.

Join Michigan State University College Advising Corps alumnus Kennisha Williams as she helps students determine what is their best fit school. She will show students how to use match and fit to narrow their college selection choices and eventually make the final decision. There will be time at the end of the session, if students have specific questions that will help them make an informed decision on selecting a best fit school.

COVID-313: A Guide for Detroit Families

Brought to you by the City of Detroit, the Community Education Commission and their partners, the COVID-313 site has various resources to assist Detroit families during the COVID-19 crisis, including a guide for high school seniors with resources like preparing for graduation, preparing for college, and updates from local colleges. Learn more.

Detroit Drives Degrees and DCAN Online Post-secondary Advising

The innovative 1-on-1 virtual post-secondary advising sessions are designed to supplement the work that counselors are doing on the front lines to make sure their students are prepared for their plans after high-school. Expert college advisers will be available from 1 to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in April to speak to students about various topics ranging from financial aid, scholarships, admissions/enrollment, college majors, career planning, and more. Students can reserve a 30-minute session to speak with a college advising corps alumnus who can answer questions and direct them to proper channels when their questions are student-specific.

Detroit College Access Network COVID-19 Admissions Updates

This website provides admissions updates for students, families, and partners to ensure they are aware of any changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that could impact the enrollment process.

Skillman Foundation Letter of Support and FAQs for Detroit’s High School Seniors

A list of resources and answers to FAQs for high school senior navigating graduation and college next steps during the COVID-19 crisis.

Resources for Adult Learners

National College Attainment Network: How the Education Field is Responding: A Roundup of COVID-19 Resources

The National College Attainment Network (NCAN) created this page to share best practices, FAQs, policy updates, and other news and information related to supporting students during the coronavirus outbreak.

Resources for Higher Education Institutions

Engaging Employers to Forge Clear Pathways to Sustainable Careers

Manufacturing jobs have been hit hard, with a diminishing workforce and gaps in knowledge necessary to the work. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, people began turning to the local college for help. But how do you create not just an education program that will help fill these jobs, but one that concurrently provides meaningful work to its students? In this interview, Stephanie Wenger discusses how Bucks County Community College created their Metalwork Training Program and how it has been able to maintain a high success rate.

Lipman Hearne: A Guide to Recruiting Adult Learners

There are 95 million potential adult learners in the U.S. See how you can reach these nontraditional students with four personas developed by Lipman Hearne.

Resources for College Access Professionals

Michigan College Access Network (MCAN)

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the lives of individuals across the world. As we adapt to a temporary “new normal,” MCAN will continue to provide timely information and support via a repository of COVID-19 resources for college access and attainment professionals. Check frequently for regular updates.

National College Attainment Network (NCAN)

Students across the country are facing a great deal of uncertainty as school districts close and higher education institutions move to online instruction and shutter their dormitories, and the students NCAN members serve are some of the most vulnerable. This page will host best practices, FAQs, policy updates, and other news and information related to supporting students during the coronavirus outbreak.

NCAN: Immediate next steps for helping high school seniors transition to a 2-/4-year college or certificate program.

How to Pick a College During Coronavirus

In this article, Shereen Marisol Meraji, co-host of NPR’s Code Switch podcast asks Elissa Nadworny, an NPR Education reporter and Life Kit host, some big questions about navigating college admissions during the uncertainty brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

FAFSA Renewals are Down. Here’s How to Help. 

FAFSA renewals are down overall, but especially for low-income students. In this article, Patrick O’Connor shares some tips on what school counselors and other college access professionals can do to help their former students renew, now that they’re not in touch on a daily basis.

Career Planning Tips and Tools for Students 

This resource, created by Wayne RESA’s Ready to Launch Career Counselors, can be used by high school students to use during this time at home. The document has online resources for exploring careers, colleges, and training programs. Tips and tools are also included to take the next steps in preparing for career and post-secondary options. In addition, there are career questions provided for students and parents to engage in career conversations. Counselors are encouraged to utilize this resource with their students.

General Education Resources


ACT is offering digital learning and workforce resources to assist students, teachers, schools, and workers impacted by COVID-19. The resources are adaptable for use in home, through online learning, and in workforce settings.

Arizona State University: ASU for You

Arizona State University compiled a collection of its online resources onto a single platform, ASU for You, to help people of all ages and education levels continue learning at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore the resources.

Harvard University

Harvard is offering a collection of free online courses in programs ranging from the arts and humanities to computer science and health and medicine. Browse the courses and enroll today.


In these uncertain times, with millions finding their education disrupted by COVID-19, Kaplan is committed to helping students and their teachers through this period of adjustment and change. They’ve compiled some online learning and other resources as well as expert advice to help you through these transitions.

Khan Academy

COVID-19 school closure resources including daily schedules for students aged  2-18 and remote learning resources.

Additional Resources

Eastern Michigan University: Swoop’s Food Pantry

1 in 10 students face hunger. Swoop’s Food Pantry’s mission is to provide the EMU community with food assistance and resources to positively impact well-being and success. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the pantry team has decided to create pick up bags for shoppers to help mitigate the risk of spreading the virus by not having shoppers enter the pantry. Learn more and fill out an intake form.

Swoop’s also created a list of additional food pantries in Washtenaw County, view the list here. If you live outside of Washtenaw County or need resources outside of food assistance, please email

Michigan State University Student Food Bank

The MSU Student Food Bank serves MSU students experiencing food insecurity by providing free food and related items. Food Pantry Locator is a service of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Please note, this list contains ONLY pantries that have listed themselves on the site. There may be pantries in your area that are not on this list.

Forgotten Harvest: Find Food Tool

This map can be used to find one of Forgotten Harvest’s 250+ agencies distributing emergency food assistance to those in need.

Feeding America: Find Your Local Food Bank

Feeding America food banks serve large areas and will be able to find a feeding program in your local community. Contact your local community food bank to find food or click here to read about public assistance programs.

Gleaners Community Food Bank

With Michigan in a state of emergency, schools and businesses closed, and our local governments mandating a ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives’ order for all residents, we want to ensure the public that Gleaners will continue to distribute food to our hungry neighbors. This page will continue to be updated with our most current news and services.

University of Michigan Poverty Solutions: Stimulus Check Assistance

The vast majority of Michigan residents are eligible to receive a stimulus check from the federal government this year. Even if you have no income, you are still eligible, but need to take action to receive your stimulus payment. This includes individuals with low or no earnings who normally don’t file taxes. This site will take you through the process step by step.

Michigan 211

Connect with a community resource specialist in your area who will help you find services and resources that are available to you. Available 24/7/365, you’ll find help with things like supplemental food and nutrition programs and shelter and housing options plus utilities assistance.

Comcast Internet Essentials

Internet Essentials from Comcast brings you affordable, high-speed Internet with the goal to make it easier for low-income households to get connected so they can more easily work from home, access educational resources, and stay in contact with friends and family. The content provided is available in English and Spanish.