New MI ECHO scholarship provides tuition-free pathway to GRCC for essential workers not eligible for federal financial aid

GRCC sign in front of tree with yellow fall leaves.

A new scholarship is providing a tuition-free pathway for essential workers not eligible for federal financial aid, putting a life-changing education within reach for more people.

The Michigan Equity, Courage, Hope, and Opportunity Scholarship – MI ECHO — is designed to serve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, Temporary Protected Status immigrants, Special Immigrant Juveniles, and others who are excluded from most traditional financial aid opportunities.

The scholarship is funded by private donors and philanthropic organizations and administered by the Michigan College Action Network, a Lansing-based advocacy group focused on increasing college readiness, participation and completion, especially among low-income, first-generation college students as well as students of color.

MI ECHO is for people who cannot access federal financial aid and who worked in an essential job during the COVID-19 pandemic, starting with the March 2020 shutdown. Candidates must live in Michigan and be eligible for acceptance into a certificate or associate degree program and cannot have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree in any country.

It can be used as early as the Winter 2022 semester, and registration for classes is now open.

“Our community grows stronger when everyone has access to higher education,” said Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of Student Affairs. “Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect have made it possible for thousands of people to start or restart their education at GRCC. The MI ECHO scholarship will help even more people gain new skills for careers, help their families and change their lives.”

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