Frequently Asked Questions about the Academic Catch-Up Program



The following information represents some of the most frequently asked questions from community college stakeholders.

Questions about 2024 Funding Extension

How much funding is available per interested college?

MCCA will have approximately $3 million to distribute to colleges interested in offering Academic Catch-Up programs in 2024. Based on the number of colleges who apply, particpating colleges will receive a base allocation for infrastructure (TBA based on available funding) and $1614.63 per student served for as long as funds are available.

No college is eligible to recieve more than $1 million in total funding over the two program years (2023 and 2024). Please see additional information about program design and eligible expenses below.

What if I have funds remaining from payments in 2023?

Colleges who have funds remaining from payments in 2023 should plan to carry those funds forward and use them in 2024, either to continue serving students from the 2023 programs, or to serve new students in 2024. All funds must be expended no later than October 31, 2024.

What students are eligible for 2024 programs?

Eligibility requirements for 2024 remain the same as for 2023 (see below for guidance). Students must be enrolled or intending to enroll in college no later than Fall 2024, and shold not have completed gateway math or Englsih composition. Students must have graduated from high school to be eligible for Academic Catch-Up programs (no current dual-enrolled students). Students cannot have previously participated in an Academic Catch-Up program at your or another college (please inquire at intake).

New Question Added 4/26/23

Now that we are enrolling participants, how can I determine if someone is eligible?

In general, anyone who is a high school graduate in summer 2023 and is enrolled or planning to enroll at a Michigan college or university in fall 2023 is eligible for Academic Catch-Up programs. When considering a student in a special situation, remember that colleges have broad latitude to determine who will benefit from the program you have designed. The participant demographics in the quarterly reports are what will be reported to the state about your participants.

New Questions Added 2/23/23

Can colleges enroll high school graduates who have dual enrollment credits?

Yes. High school graduates with dual enrollment credits outside of gateway math or English composition can enroll in Academic Catch-Up programs.

Can colleges enroll students who will not graduate from high school until after summer 2023?

No. Students who will still be enrolled in high school in fall 2023 are not eligible to enroll in Academic Catch-Up programs.

Can colleges enroll adult students in Academic Catch-Up programs?

Yes. While the programs are targeted to recent high school graduates, adult students who are new to the college and/or who have not completed gateway English or mathematics at any college are eligible to enroll. Academic Catch-Up programs may be particularly beneficial to Reconnect students.

Can students opt out of some program components and still complete the program?

Maybe. Academic Catch-Up programs are intended to provide comprehensive support to prepare students for a successful 1st semester of college. This includes preparing to enroll in gateway English and mathematics courses either with or without corequisite support. Students who are already prepared to enter gateway courses in either English or mathematics without corequisite support may opt out of participating in the unneeded component of the program. Students who need support in both mathematics and English should complete both components.

Are colleges required to track students who do not enroll at the college where they completed the program for the fall semester?

No. Colleges will be asked to report data only for students who completed their program and then enrolled for the fall semester at their college.

Are colleges required to verify whether students have completed an Academic Catch-Up program at another college when they enroll for the fall semester?

No. However, if students disclose that they have completed a program at another college, the spirit of the legislation suggests that they should be allowed to enroll directly into gateway courses either with or without corequisite support rather than in prerequisite developmental courses.

New Questions Added 1/24/23

What incentives can be offered to students in the Academic Catch-Up prgram?
Colleges are required to offer funding for transportation, food, and instructional supplies as part of the program. In addition, colleges may choose to offer incentives such as a weekly stipend, cash assistance, gift cards, off-campus field trips, and/or funding for tuition or bookstore expenses in the fall semester as incentives for completing components of the program. Colleges should consider a menu of incentives to reward students who may enroll during the fall semester at the college where the program is offered as well as students who are planning to attend another college.

Who can provide instruction in the Academic Catch-Up program?
There is no specification as to who can provide instruction in the Academic Catch-up program. Full-time or adjunct faculty, advisers, counselors, professional tutors or other staff can provide instruction. If the program is not offered for credit, instructors do not need to meet HLC faculty qualifications. Those providing instruction should be offered training and professional development apprpriate to their responsibilities.

Is there a required curriculum for English or mathematics?
No. The only requirement is that students who complete the program must be eligible to enroll in gateway English and mathematics courses, either with or without corequisite support.

What will happen if we do not serve our targeted number of students?
MCCA will distribute funding in two installments, with the first disbursement after completion of the MOU and the second later in the spring or early summer. If a college is not able to recruit its targeted number of students, the second disbursement may be adjusted to reflect the number of students the college will serve.

Are community colleges required to participate in the Academic Catch-Up program?

No. Community colleges are not required to submit an application or to offer a program. Colleges that do not participate will not be eligible for Academic Catch-Up funding.

How will community colleges benefit from participating in the Academic Catch-Up program?
The Academic Catch-Up program represents an opportunity to connect with and support potential new students. Nearly half of the graduating class of 2021 did not enroll in any college within six months of high school graduation. Extending an invitation to participate in a free summer program designed to increase their chances for success in college may entice some of these students back into your classrooms. Research on summer bridge programs, conducted primarily at universities, suggests that engaging students in the summer before matriculation may also increase retention.

Enrollment in College Within 6 Months of High School Graduation

Cohort Number of
Total Graduates
Number Enrolled
in College
Percent Enrolled
in College
Class of 2021 97,091 51,980 53.5%
Class of 2020 98,891 57,311 58.0%
Class of 2019 100,063 62,249 62.2%
Class of 2018 103,880 64,904 62.5%



Do we have to offer the program in the summer?
Yes. Eligible colleges need to minimally provide a summer educational program to recent high school graduates in 2023.


Do we have to wait for summer 2023 to begin offering the program?
No. Funds will not be available until at least December 2022, but colleges can begin offering academic catch-up programs to high school graduates affected by the COVID-19 pandemic before summer 2023.


Can we limit enrollment to certain students (in-district, enrolled at our college, etc.)?
No. The program should be open to any incoming college student.


Can we offer a hybrid program?
Colleges must provide both in-person and online instruction options, which can include a hybrid model or two separate programs for in-person and online.


Can the program include any developmental education courses?
Yes. The full program must be offered completely free of charge to participating students and must include instruction in English and mathematics. You may provide this instruction by offering your developmental courses in an accelerated format as part of the program, as long as there is no charge to students and courses are part of a program with all the required components, and students who complete the program are not enrolled in non-corequisite developmental education after completing the program.


Can we just enroll the students in our summer developmental math or English courses with no charge and do nothing else?
No. The program must be a comprehensive, free summer bridge program that includes instruction in English and/or mathematics and must also include support for career exploration, admission, and financial aid, along with transportation, classroom supplies, technology devices, technical support, food assistance, and other basic needs.


Can I use placement testing (i.e. Accuplacer or ALEKs) as part of the program?
Yes. Colleges must enroll students who complete the summer educational program either directly into gateway college-level English or mathematics or gateway courses with corequisite support. This does not preclude the use of placement tests, high school GPA, or Guided Self-Placement (GSP) to determine whether a student should elect to enroll in the gateway course alone or with corequisite support after completing the summer bridge program.


When will funds be available to colleges?
The MCCA will likely be able to write the first check to colleges in December 2022 or January 2023 followed by a second check in May 2023 with evidence that the college is running the program for summer 2023.


Will we complete a grant agreement? 
Yes. MCCA will share a grant agreement with the President’s office for signature once the application is approved.


What are my reporting requirements? 
The MCCA is required to submit a report to the Legislature by September 30, 2023 and we will ask participating colleges to submit information about the program including information about student services and budget reporting.  In addition, the MCCA plans to work with a researcher to gather information from participating institutions to understand more about the content of the program, perceptions of success, and other program features.


What are eligible expenses?
Colleges can use funding to support the following expenses.