Schools cited for improved financial aid applications

The state has cited high schools in Niles, Ann Arbor and Hazel Park as top performers in improving their students’ FAFSA completion rates. Regional winners include schools in Chippewa, Otsego, Ingham and Clinton counties. FAFSA is essential to get college financial aid. We talk to principals and a counselor about the importance of one-on-one help to students. By Joshua Valiquette.

Lansing prom shop is determined to have something for the seniors

High school proms all over the state have been canceled because of COVID-19, meaning seniors are missing out on one of the last special nights they had left with all of their childhood friends. But a Lansing business is making it their priority to give them that night back — eventually. Pierre’s Bridal, Prom and Tuxedo is used to seeing its upstairs prom section full of high school girls looking for that special dress from March to June. But now the store is empty and temporarily shut down. Co-owner Sarah Samson got the idea to still hold a prom somewhere, just a little later than most high schools had originally scheduled, for seniors in the Mid-Michigan area.

How does the 2020 census affect Michigan schools?

State officials are pushing residents to complete their census forms. The results are important for allocating aid to public and private schools in the state, including money for special education, Head Start and breakfast and lunch programs. We hear from the state Education Department, a Marquette legislator, the state census director and the MEA. By Joe Dandron.

Remote learning has ups and downs across counties

Public schools are wrestling with how to use technology to teach remotely now that schools are shuttered. It’s especially challenging in more rural areas where many homes lack internet access. Greenville and Big Rapids school officials discuss, as does the Kids Count project director. By Danielle James.

High school seniors struggle with spring sports canceled

Lake Orion High School senior Lilly Snyder had waited until her senior year to start on the varsity softball team. She was called up as a freshman and sat back watching the upperclassmen take the field, and she did the same thing her sophomore year, and the same thing for her junior year. This was going to be her year until life threw a nasty curveball her way. Many high school athletes, including Lilly, were holding out hope that the Michigan High School Athletic Association wouldn’t cancel spring sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks after postponing all winter sports tournaments, it seemed inevitable that both winter and spring sports would be canceled and the MHSAA made it official on April 3.

College students falling through gap in federal stimulus program

There’s a gaping hole in the federal stimulus package, and college students are falling through it. If they’re 17 to 24 and claimed as dependents for tax purposes by their parents, they won’t get a $1,200 check and their parents won’t receive the extra $500 allotted per dependent. We speak to students and parents from Grand Rapids, East Lansing, Ypsilanti, University of Michigan and Michigan State, as well as an MSU economist. By Taylor Haelterman.