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Labor and Economic Opportunity

Mentors: Promoting College Access

There are many conversations young people in Michigan never have.  Conversations that would help them prepare for today, tomorrow, and their future.  For many youth, a mentor can help them have those discussions and expose them to resources and opportunities otherwise left undiscovered.  Youth need many supportive, caring adults to lead them on the path to college, and mentors can fulfill that role.  Mentors can provide their mentees with motivation and information on resources, course-taking, test-taking, college applications, and financial aid. 

As a mentor, there are several things you can do to help your mentee in their path to college.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind: 

·    Listen: Be receptive and listen when your mentee wants to discuss career and/or college plans. 

·    Explore: Help your mentee explore career and college options and collect as much information as possible. 

·    Encourage: Encourage your mentee by helping him/her see the connection between college and careers.  Emphasize the importance of selecting a major that helps prepare him/her for a career.  Speak positively about college, and share any college experiences you may have with them. 

·    Research: Help your mentee research various college and career options.  Utilize the resources on this page and share them with your mentee. 

·    Be Aware: Be aware of various deadlines for applications to colleges and financial aid. Put them on a calendar both you and your mentee can look at. 

·    Be Supportive: Be supportive of your mentee, and meet with his/her counselor if you sense he/she needs additional help. 

Here are resources, activities, and useful links that will help you to take a knowledgeable, "college positive" approach with your mentee, to promote college access and success.  Explore and share these resources and links with your mentee to inspire them and encourage them to begin planning for college. 

Encourage, Research, and Prepare 

Realizing the College Dream - Advisor Guide 
(From ECMC Foundation) - a curriculum guide used to increase the expectations of attending college by low-income, first-generation college-going students and their families.

Plan Your Path to College  
Reference Calendar from CollegeView - Use this calendar to help your mentee keep track as they prepare for college in high school.

Activities and Workbooks 

KnowHow2Go Mentor Workbook  
Tips and tools to educate yourself and your mentee about the college preparation process…and how to have fun while doing it.

Get Ready for College  
A College Planning Guide and Workbook for Students in Grades 9 through 12.

College Positive Mentoring Activity Examples 
These activity examples are courtesy of the Detroit Pistons Mini-Grants recipients.

College Planning Websites 

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)  
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the form used by virtually all two- and four-year colleges, universities and career schools for the awarding of federal student aid and most state and college aid.   The annual Michigan deadline is March 1. 

Student Aid on the Web  
Source for free information from the U.S. Department of Education on preparing for and funding education beyond high school.

The College Board  
Each year, the College Board serves seven million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,800 colleges through major programs and services in college readiness, college admission, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning.  

·  Features a College Matchmaker Service , which searches a database of more than 3,800 schools by location, majors, cost, and more to find colleges that fit. 

Mapping your Future  
Mapping Your Future is a national collaborative, public-service, nonprofit organization providing career, college, financial aid, and financial literacy services for students, families, and schools.