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HFC awarded $200,000 in student success grants from LEO and Kresge

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HFC students in classroom

HFC is leading the way in college affordability and innovation, with the help of government and non-profit partners. The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has awarded HFC a $150,000 grant, and The Kresge Foundation has awarded HFC a $50,000 grant.

Both grants will provide support to fill funding gaps for students attending HFC through one of the state’s two free-tuition programs: Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect. The Kresge grant targets Futures for Frontliners students. The LEO grant will assist students in both programs.


The LEO grant provides funding for the new Secondary Trade and Education Program for Underserved Populations (STEP-UP) program at HFC over a two-year period. This innovative wrap-around program is tightly targeted to help students succeed in completing certificates or degrees and moving into a rewarding career. An education coach will work one-on-one with adult students to provide focused, personalized support. All students in the program will take a College Success course. STEP-UP will address basic needs, career exploration, as well as employment preparation, and will connect students to employers. The College will match the LEO grant for this purpose.

The Kresge grant will provide $250 scholarships to 100 students to offset the cost of course-related textbooks. Textbook costs were noted by HFC students during the Winter 2021 semester as a top area of unmet need.

Futures for Frontliners and MI-Reconnect

Futures for Frontliners is a program funded by the Governor’s Emergency Fund, as part of the CARES Act, to allow frontline workers to earn a college degree or credential that will lead to a good-paying job and career path in industries that Michigan needs. The State of Michigan covers the costs of Futures for Frontliners students’ in-district tuition and mandatory fees at HFC.

MI-Reconnect is a program for Michigan residents who are over the age of 25 and who do not have a college degree. It covers in-district tuition for an associate degree or career certificate.

“These grants are great news for our students. We are grateful to LEO and to the Kresge Foundation for providing these funds as an investment in student academic and career success in Michigan. Our partners at both organizations share a vision for students to earn a college degree and advance in their careers or start new careers,” said HFC President Russell Kavalhuna. “For many of these students, Futures for Frontliners and the Michigan Reconnect program are a bridge to affording college. These programs have already helped thousands of Michigan citizens. And these important grants from LEO and Kresge take our support significantly further in providing the tools Henry Ford College students need for success.”

Information about how to apply for grant funds will be provided to students enrolled through the Futures for Frontliners and Michigan Reconnect programs.