Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University partner to offer scholarships to frontline workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

First of its kind partnership builds on Governor Whitmer and the State of Michigan’s “Futures for Frontliners” scholarship program, providing affordable 4-year higher education opportunities for essential workers amid COVID-19 pandemic

EMU campus aerial showing University Park

YPSILANTI – Eastern Michigan University and Henry Ford College (HFC) announced today a partnership to offer EMU scholarships to frontline workers who complete their HFC associate degree (Michigan Transfer Agreement recommended) and pursue a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University.

The partnership is an extension of HFC’s participation in the State of Michigan and Governor Whitmer’s “Futures for Frontliners” scholarship program, which pays for frontline workers to earn a tuition-free degree from a local community college. The application period for that program closes Dec. 31. 

“This is great news for the hundreds of thousands of brave men and women who have been serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s good news for our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “From the beginning, creating paths to prosperity for more Michiganders has been a top priority for my administration. I’m proud that our state has developed a way to give back to the Michiganders who have been working around the clock to protect us, and I am grateful for this partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University to help more people get on a path to opportunity.”

The partnership is also a natural fit given EMU and HFC’s strong, long standing relationship and more than 40 articulation agreements currently in place, including a recently established pathway for students who have earned an associate nursing degree at Henry Ford College to transfer their credits to Eastern. 

“Our frontline workers put themselves at risk to serve Michigan citizens during a pandemic. Now we are putting them at the forefront by supporting their futures,” said HFC President Russ Kavalhuna. “This new partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University is an exciting opportunity for Frontliners to extend their education even further. It will maximize their investment in themselves as they seek new or advanced careers.” 

EMU has over 150 articulation agreements with Michigan community colleges, the most of any university in the state. 

Eastern Michigan will offer the following scholarship opportunities through the partnership:

  1. HFC Frontliners graduates who enroll at EMU and are Pell eligible will receive an EMU Frontliner Scholarship to cover their remaining tuition balance. A Pell Grant plus the EMU Frontliner Scholarship = Free Tuition. The scholarship will cover 12 credits of tuition for five consecutive semesters of enrollment at EMU.
  2. HFC Frontliners graduates who enroll at EMU and are not Pell eligible will receive an EMU Frontliner scholarship of $5,000 that will be split into increments of $1,250 for each of four consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment at 12 or more credit hours per semester.

“Michigan’s frontline workers have worked tirelessly around the clock for months to maintain essential services and to keep our communities safe,” said Eastern Michigan University President James Smith. “This new scholarship initiative is an extension of the excellent collaboration we have had with Henry Ford College for many years and provides a new opportunity to reward frontline workers by creating an affordable path to a college degree.”

The EMU Frontliner Scholarship is available to new students who enroll at EMU. 

Futures for Frontliners has been a critical initiative to support essential workers, and will help Michigan meet its Sixty by 30 goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a technical certificate or college degree from 45 to 60 percent by 2030. The program provides increased opportunity for essential workers to earn a postsecondary credential, even if they need to first pursue high school completion, on their way to opportunities for better jobs.

The Futures for Frontliners program is the first of its kind in the country. It was inspired by the federal government program known as the GI Bill, a military veterans education program that started after World War II and continues today.

Visit HFC’s Futures for Frontliners website to find out if you are eligible for the program and to get started at HFC. The statewide deadline to submit an application for Futures for Frontliners is Dec. 31, 2020.

For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s homepage.

About Henry Ford College

Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan, is a comprehensive, accredited public college serving 12,000 enrolled students. HFC has been successfully preparing students for a rapidly changing world since 1938, and today offers more than 150 high-quality associate degree, career, certificate, and university transfer programs that foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. The College also offers a Bachelor of Science in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies, as well as 3+1 programs with university partners. HFC provides customized workforce development training for business and industry. Visit hfcc.edu for more details or look for us on social media. 

About Eastern Michigan University

Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 16,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University's Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and, its graduate school. EMU is regularly recognized by national publications for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University's website.


December 02, 2020

Written by:
Morgan Mark

Media Contact:
Morgan Mark