Skip to main content

MCAN launches scholarship for frontliners who cannot receive federal financial aid

Michigan ECHO Scholarship word mark over photo of graduate with her family

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan College Access Network (MCAN) is proud to announce the Michigan Equity, Courage, Hope and Opportunity Scholarship (MI ECHO), a tuition-free pathway for students who are not eligible for federal financial aid to pursue an associate degree or certificate. It is designed to serve DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status immigrants, Special Immigrant Juveniles, and other populations who are excluded from most traditional financial aid opportunities.

The scholarship application opened today, and eligible individuals can apply via online form or paper application. Inspired by the Futures for Frontliners program, this scholarship is for individuals who currently live in Michigan, worked an essential job during the COVID-19 pandemic and have not previously earned an associate or baccalaureate degree. Full eligibility requirements and application information is available at

“We were excited to see how Gov. Whitmer’s Futures for Frontliners program changed the conversation around community college and brought in so many Michiganders who are eager to improve their economic opportunities through postsecondary education. We designed MI ECHO to mirror that opportunity for workers who served in essential roles throughout the pandemic, but who are unable to access federal financial aid,” said Ryan Fewins-Bliss, MCAN executive director. “MI ECHO honors the hard work of these individuals while investing in our workforce and moving us closer to our state’s Sixty by 30 goal.”

The MI ECHO Scholarship is funded by private donors and philanthropic organizations. Applications may be submitted through Dec. 31, 2022, but funds are limited, so interested individuals are encouraged to apply as early as they are able.

"Michigan is home to approximately 5,300 DACA recipients, many of whom legally worked in the frontlines during the pandemic and paid taxes into the economy,” said Sonya Marie Hernández, vice chair of the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan. “As an educator and advocate for Michigan’s Hispanic/Latino population, I believe it is critical to create equitable pathways for our DACA recipients and other groups who served in essential roles through the pandemic but are unable to access programs like Futures for Frontliners. MI ECHO allows these individuals to continue contributing to and serving in essential industries, helping to keep Michigan running and moving us closer to true equity for all Michiganders."

MI ECHO addresses equity gaps in existing scholarship programs