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Winners Announced for Detroit Drives Degrees 2019 Race to the FAFSA Challenge

The Detroit Regional Chamber Detroit Drives Degrees’ annual “Race to the FAFSA Line” challenge was started three years ago to increase FAFSA completion among high school seniors in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county to 65 percent and encourage them to take the next step to postsecondary education.

This year, 81 schools and more than 8,000 students in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne county participated in the challenge. Combined these students will receive an estimated $65.4 million in aid for completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The winners of this year’s challenge include:

  • Grand Prize Winner for Overall Most Improved FAFSA Completion: Detroit International Academy for Young Women for 49 percent improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Medium Schools: Romulus Senior High School for 14 percent improvement.
  • Most Improved FAFSA Completion for Large Schools: Grosse Point South High School for 11 percent improvement.
  • Most Innovative FAFSA Completion Strategy: Frontier International Academy for 84 percent overall completion rate.
  • Highest Overall FAFSA Completion Rate: Taylor Preparatory High School for 128 percent completion.*

The challenge was a collaborative effort involving the following partners: Detroit College Access Network (DCAN), Detroit Public Schools Community District, Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan College Access Network (MCAN), Wayne RESA, and several local college access networks. The challenge was supported by The Detroit Pistons, DTE Energy, Emagine Entertainment, Grand Valley State University Charter Schools Office, Independent Bank, the Michigan Association of State Universities, and the University of Michigan-Dearborn.

*The FAFSA completion rate is calculated using the total number of completed FAFSAs and the total number of seniors in a class. The rate can be over 100 percent of students filling out the FAFSA for the first time are 19 years old and no longer in high school, as so in the case at Taylor Preparatory High School.