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10 Michigan Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College

What’s Covered:


Michigan has been a leader in higher education for more than two centuries. When the University of Michigan opened in 1817, it was the first public university in the Northwest Territories. Helping keep Michiganders at the forefront of higher education are a variety of scholarships providing financial support to students for everything from an interest in a field like engineering to those working in retail. 


Keep reading to learn more about some of the best Michigan scholarships.   


10 Michigan Scholarships to Save You Thousands on College


1. Michigan Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) Scholarships 


Amount: Varies

Deadline: February 15

Eligibility: Michigan resident, high school senior, and accepted at a Michigan ABET-accredited college or university with the intent of pursuing a degree and a career in engineering

Application Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA (for sophomore and junior year), transcript, SAT score, essay, and free MSPE student membership 


This great Michigan scholarship aims to encourage talented high school seniors to pursue a path in engineering. Applicants are required to compose a short essay (250 words or less) on how I was influenced to pursue an engineering career. Selection criteria include: 


  • GPA
  • SAT score
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Essay 
  • Leadership 
  • Character
  • Honors


Consideration is also given for completing college-level courses while in high school.


2. Detroit Chapter of the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Joseph B. Olivieri Scholarship


Amount: $1,500

Deadline: April 22

Eligibility: Pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Architectural Engineering, or Architecture (or a Masters of Architectural Engineering) full-time enrollment at an ABET- or NAAB-accredited college or university in the Michigan counties of:

  • Hillsdale
  • Jackson
  • Lenawee
  • Livingston
  • Macomb
  • Monroe
  • Oakland
  • Washtenaw
  • Wayne

Application Requirements: Transcript, letter of recommendation, and essay 


The Detroit Chapter of ASHRAE’s Joseph B. Olivieri Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for aspiring Michigan architects and mechanical engineers to earn money for college. The award is aimed at students pursuing a degree—either bachelor’s or master’s—full-time in an eligible Michigan college or university, however, high school seniors with proof of eligible enrollment status are also able to apply. As part of the application, students are required to complete an essay answering how will your future work contribute to maintaining the sustainability of the built environment or the environmental control systems within them? 


3. Grand Rapids Community Foundation (GRCF) Warner Norcross + Judd LLP Diversity Paralegal Scholarship


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March1 

Eligibility: Michigan resident of color (American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latinx, Middle Eastern, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, or of more than one race)

Application Requirements: Transcript, resume, essay, and two letters of recommendation 


This scholarship is intended to support Michigan students of color seeking careers as paralegals. As part of the application, students must submit an essay addressing: 


  • How they became interested in the law
  • Why they chose their college
  • What area of law they plan to specialize in
  • How they plan to pay for their education
  • Their short- and long-term career goals and how they’ll achieve them


Financial need is considered when selecting a recipient of the GRCF Warner Norcross + Judd LLP Diversity Paralegal Scholarship. 


4.  SME Detroit Undergraduate Scholarship


Amount: N/A

Deadline: February 1

Eligibility: Graduating high school senior or undergraduate enrolling in a manufacturing engineering or manufacturing engineering technology program at an accredited two- or four-year college or trade school in Michigan

Application Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA


This scholarship is provided by SME, a professional organization that supports the manufacturing industry through events, media, and workforce development—like scholarships. The SME Detroit Undergraduate Scholarship is specifically targeted at graduating high school seniors and current undergraduates working toward a degree in manufacturing engineering, manufacturing engineering technology, or a closely related program. 


5. Kids’ Chance of Michigan Scholarship


Amount: $2,500 to $5,000

Deadline: July 31 

Eligibility: Michigan resident between age 17 and 22 who has a parent that sustained a catastrophic injury or lost a parent due to a work-related accident  

Application Requirements: Transcript, personal statement, proof of parent’s injury/fatality, and a minimum of three letters of recommendation 


The Kids’ Chance of Michigan Scholarship is a need-based award aimed at providing support to students who need financial assistance for college or a vocational education due to a parent becoming catastrophically injured or killed in a work-related accident. Eligibility for this scholarship requires the injury affecting the applicant to be compensable under Michigan Workers’ Compensation Law.


6. Michigan Retailers Foundation (MRA) Scholarship Program 


Amount: Varies

Deadline: April 1

Eligibility: High school seniors and undergraduates who are:

  • Dependents of owners of MRA member businesses
  • Full-time employees of MRA member firms
  • Part-time employees of MRA member businesses who are full-time students

Application Requirements: Transcript and SAT/ACT scores


The MRA Scholarship Program is a merit-based award intended for students at the highest levels of academic achievement. In addition to having outstanding academic credentials, MRA Scholarship recipients are expected to have interesting extracurricular activities, including retail employment. In 2022, the association will grant 12 scholarships totaling $3,500. Scholarships are paid directly to the recipient’s school. 


7. National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Region 1 Scholarship 


Amount: $3,500

Deadline: March 12

Eligibility: High school seniors with a desire to work in the automotive industry from the following states:

  • Maine
  • Vermont
  • New Hampshire
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Rhode Island
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Michigan

Application Requirements: Transcript, essay, and up to five letters of recommendation 


The NIADA Region 1 Scholarship is one of four national awards provided by the association. The aim of the scholarship is to support students with an interest in a career in the automotive industry and to highlight the training and education that employees in the industry undergo. As part of the application, students are required to write an essay sharing why they’re interested in the automotive industry, the role they wish to play in it, and explain how they would address some of the current challenges in the field. 


8. Rosa Parks Scholarship 


Amount: $2,000

Deadline: March 1

Eligibility: Michigan resident who is a graduating senior 

Application Requirements: Minimum 2.5 GPA, transcript, essay, and two letters of recommendation 


Over $2,000,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to more than 1,000 high school seniors since the founding of the Rosa Parks Scholarship in 1980. The award honors the historic stand that Rosa Parks took against segregation and racial prejudice and asks applicants to complete a short essay (200-300 words) describing a social issue in need of attention and how the principles of Rosa Park can address it. Criteria for selecting winners include leadership, financial need, and dedication to the civil rights principles of the scholarship’s namesake. 


9. The Ability Center of Greater Toledo Scholarship 


Amount: Varies

Deadline: March 31

Eligibility: Individuals with a disability planning to enroll or enrolled in a post-secondary program with a permanent address in the following counties:

  • Ohio: Lucas, Wood, Fulton, Henry, Ottawa, Defiance, or Williams 
  • Michigan: Monroe or Lenawee 

Application Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA, essay, and three letters of recommendation 


The Ability Center of Greater Toledo Scholarship is intended to ensure students with disabilities are given the opportunity to achieve higher education. Applicants must complete an essay that describes how their disability affects their life, what sets them apart from their peers, and how they plan to give back to their community. Applicants are also encouraged to share their career objectives, plans, goals, qualities, and anything else they feel makes them uniquely suited to receive this award. 


10. The Daniel Gerber, Sr. Medallion Scholarship


Amount: $10,600 over 4 years 

Deadline: February 28

Eligibility: Graduating high school seniors from the following high schools:

  • Fremont 
  • Grant
  • Hesperia
  • Newaygo
  • White
  • Cloud
  • Home School students in the areas of the above high schools

Applicants must be planning on enrolling in a post-secondary program leading to an associate degree or baccalaureate degree, or a vocational/technical program leading to a certificate. 

Application Requirements: Minimum 3.71 GPA and letters of recommendation


The Daniel Gerber, Sr. Medallion Scholarship provides recipients with $10,600 over four years, which can be used on everything from tuition to books to required tools and equipment. To continue receiving the award, students must maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA, attend school full-time, and supply grade reports and renewal information at the end of the academic year. Selection for the scholarship is based on numerous criteria, including:


  • Academic achievement
  • Recommendations
  • Leadership
  • Extracurricular and community activities


3 Tips for Applying to Scholarships

As the cost of college continues to rise, competition for scholarships has grown increasingly fierce. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to up your odds of winning an award. 

Aim for Institution-Based Merit Aid 


Colleges and universities simply have more scholarship money to award than external organizations. Colleges grant $175 billion in scholarship money annually compared to just $11 billion in scholarship money granted by other organizations. Before creating a strategy for applying to outside scholarships, make sure you’ve explored all of the scholarship opportunities offered by the college or university you plan to attend. 


A Safe Bet for a Scholarship


The nation’s most competitive colleges and universities commonly do not offer merit-aid. Thanks to their stellar reputations and an excess of applicants, they simply don’t need to attract top students to their school. However, a school where your profile is especially strong may make it worth your while to attend by offering a substantial scholarship. Consider applying to one or two “safety” schools where you have a good chance of winning a significant award. 


Apply Yourself to Scholarships 


The more scholarships you apply to, the better your odds of winning an award. Set aside some time every week to research scholarships and apply to them. Treat it like a job with the payoff coming when it’s time to cut a check to college or sign a student loan.


Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.