Flint, MI—Flint Community Schools (FCS) has joined a newly launched University of Michigan-Flint program where qualified students are directly admitted to the university. 

Flint Schools is one among six local school districts participating in the UM-Flint Direct Admission Pathway. FCS Superintendent Kevelin Jones sees the program as a way to make admission to UM-Flint more accessible to the district’s students.

“What’s really good about it is our scholars don’t have to go through the, ‘Can I fill out an application? Can I get admitted into University of Michigan?,” Jones said. “The answer is yes you can, and so those barriers being knocked down for our scholars is very necessary.” 

For the program, each participating high school identifies students who meet UM-Flint’s admission criteria, according to Lori Vedder, the university’s interim vice provost of enrollment management and director of financial aid. According to UM-Flint’s standard admission requirement, students typically need at least a 2.7 high school GPA and a high school diploma or a GED score of 170.

While ACT or SAT submissions are optional, it’s recommended as submitting those test scores could help students get more financial aid through UM-Flint’s Merit Scholarship, if eligible, Vedder explained.

After the school districts identify students, UM-Flint sends an admission letter to qualified students, and the next steps include sending a high school transcript.

“By doing it this way, students who either may have been on the fence [or] who may have doubted their ability to be admitted to any college, not just UofM-Flint, will realize right up front without first having to file the admission application that they can attend a 4-year public university right here at UofM-Flint,” Vedder said, adding that the program will “help simplify that pathway for them to move forward in their educational pursuit.”

Beyond Flint Schools, Beecher Community School District, Bendle Public Schools, Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools, Grand Blanc Community Schools and Westwood Heights Schools are part of UM-Flint’s Direct Admission Pathway.

Grand Blanc High School had ranked first as the top feeder high school for UM-Flint’s first-year, first-time students from fall 2016 through fall 2022, according to the university’s data. While Flint Schools’ Southwestern Classical Academy was among the top 12 feeder high schools in fall 2016 and fall 2017, the district’s overall number of graduates entering the university as first-year, first-time students have declined from 21 in fall 2016 to four in fall 2022.

Meanwhile, Vedder said that UM-Flint has begun admitting students in participating districts for fall 2023 through the Direct Admission Pathway.

UM-Flint also plans to help high schoolers in these districts prepare for college. That may involve visits from UM-Flint staff, such as faculty and admissions officers, about career and admissions planning, alongside college financial assistance, Vedder explained. 

“Whether they attend UofM-Flint or not, we see that as a win-win for the students and our communities because those students will be better informed about the college process,” she said. 

Looking ahead, Vedder said nine additional school districts are expected to join the UM-Flint Direct Admission Pathway. 

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...