The Michigan Association of State Universities (MASU) unveiled a marketing campaign this week reminding Michigan high school students and their parents that earning a college degree is a great way to ensure a good career, a chance to “make the difference” in their life and world—and that financial aid is available to many students to reduce the cost of attendance.
The campaign, which will use radio, television and social media channels, is targeted to high school juniors and seniors and their parents. You can see the ads at the new Facebook page created for the campaign, along with other content. And you can follow us on Twitter at GetMIDegree.
The goal is to encourage students to learn more about college and financial aid by visiting a new web site, GetMIDegree.org. There, students will find information about the value of a college degree, links to all Michigan public universities, and help in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which opens the doors to financial aid at all levels.
A recent report from Lumina Foundation found that Michigan needs 126,000 more workers with a two-year degree or certificate in the next 18 months – but needs 171,000 more workers with a four year degree. A state government analysis of the “Hot 50” careers in Michigan through 2026 shows that 35 of the professions will require at least a four-year degree.
MASU research shows that the vast majority of high school students and their parents understand that a four-year degree is important to obtaining a well-paying job and a satisfying career that can make the difference for the student, his or her family, and for the state and world. We also know that a four-year degree from a Michigan public university costs an average of 40 percent less than the full price with scholarships and financial aid that can be unlocked by completing the FAFSA.
With the number of Michigan high school graduates trending down, it’s vital to encourage more of them to go to college to fill the huge number of high-paying jobs that require a four-year degree. MASU and the state’s public universities collectively believe it is important that Michigan’s demographics not become our destiny. Boosting the state’s college attainment rate will enhance the prosperity for not just those who earn a degree, but also their families, their communities, and the state overall.
We’ll be reporting from time to time on progress with this important effort.
Daniel J. Hurley is the Chief Executive Officer at the Michigan Association of State Universities