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Opinion | High school seniors: College is still possible. We've got your back.

Ashley Johnson

Dear Class of 2020:

Look, we know you need more than just a bunch of old folks sharing their senior photos on social media to get through these strange times. Supporting the Class of 2020 is going to take a lot more than that… 

We know you’ve got a lot on your mind. Maybe you feel a strange mix of stress, anxiety, excitement and boredom. You’re probably trying to figure out what to do and what happens next.

Maybe you know you wanted to go to college, join the military, or study for a skilled trade, but all that seems so far away now with COVID-19. Maybe you’re unsure about your plans after high school and are now even more confused. No matter your thoughts about graduation and beyond, it is okay to be confused about moving forward. 

We’re here to tell you that college is still possible. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.

We’ll be honest though: We don’t have all the answers. That’s because your high schools and potential colleges are still figuring out details. But we can be a starting point in your thought process by answering some common questions we’ve been asked by seniors just like you – just jump to our FAQ.

Many colleges have already shifted their commitment deadlines to June, or to rolling rather than the traditional May 1 date. They’re also exploring test optional admissions and offering flexibility on course and transcript requirements. We’re keeping tabs on this for you at detroitcan.org/admissions

Most importantly, remember that there is a post-high school option that is right for you, whether it’s community college, a skilled trade, the military, or a four-year college or university. These options are still available to you and you will be welcomed and supported in your future goals.

For right now, take it one step at a time (see this college preparation checklist), and lean on your counselors, families, mentors, community, and us at the Detroit College Access Network and our partners at the Skillman Foundation for help and support. We are here for you! 

If you have questions or concerns, or you just need someone to talk to about your plans after high school, you can meet with one of our college advisers. To schedule a 20-minute virtual meeting, click here or go to bit.ly/2y6gEch

Now, here’s what we need from you: 

  • Hope and belief in yourself. You’ve got this. And we’ve got your back.
  • An open invitation to tell the college-going community how we can do better and better serve you. 

We have so much love and hope for you. There are more people rooting for you than you will ever know!

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission. If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact David Zeman. Click here for details and submission guidelines.

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