New Opportunities for College Students to Benefit from The Michigander Scholars Incentive in 2024

MEDC Communications

Thursday, February 29, 2024

MEDC announces new partnerships with Kettering University, Wayne State University and major employers to promote careers, recruit talent and fill jobs in semiconductor, electric vehicle industries that are key to helping grow state’s future population

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan college students interested in pursuing careers in the semiconductor or EV/mobility industries have new inspiration this year to apply for the state’s coveted Michigander scholarship incentive, which offers participating students a $5,000 scholarship for internships with partner employers and up to $10,000 for accepting full-time positions if they agree to live and work for one year after graduation in the Great Lakes State.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced today it has expanded The Michigander Scholars program to include higher education partners Kettering University in Flint and Wayne State University in Detroit, as well as adding several new employers, including Hemlock Semiconductor, Nissan, Subaru and Toyota.

Those companies join existing employer partners participating in the program such as General Motors, Ford, BorgWarner, LG Energy Solutions and SK Siltron CSS, while Kettering and Wayne State join the MEDC’s existing higher ed partnerships with the Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, and the University of Michigan campuses in Ann Arbor, Dearborn, and Flint.

In addition, the MEDC has expanded The Michigander Scholars program to allow sophomores and graduate students to be eligible for scholarships and added computer and process engineers as career roles.

The effort is spearheaded by the MEDC’s Talent Solutions division that has set a 2024 fiscal year goal of enlisting a combined total of 500 students interested in the semiconductor or EV/mobility industries to participate in The Michigander Scholars program and approve 350 scholarship recipients in those two fields by Sept. 30.

“The Michigander Scholars program is a critical talent retention strategy that will promote key careers, recruit talent and fill in-demand jobs in the semiconductor and electric vehicle industries that are key to helping grow our state’s population now and, in the future,” said MEDC Higher Education Partnerships Director Ava Attari.

“We need to improve on retaining college graduates in the most critical areas of the growing technology and knowledge economy, and The Michigander Scholars is a fundamental part of our strategy,” Attari said.

Among the reasons the recent bipartisan Growing Michigan Together Council report cites for Michigan’s student exodus is a lack of access to internships and opportunities for meaningful on-the-job experience prior to entering the full-time workforce. In the absence of a clear track for career growth with a Michigan-based company, young talent will continue to seek high-paying jobs with employers in states and regions with concentrated industries and networks of professionals, exacerbating the state’s existing labor shortage.

The benefits provided through The Michigander Scholars program is a start on the path toward reversing that trend, according to Kettering and Wayne State leaders. Kettering, for example, is selected among the nation’s best universities for co-ops and internships by U.S. News & World Report in its 2024 rankings.

“Kettering University is the only private school approved for The Michigander Scholars initiative, and we are thrilled that the MEDC recognizes our impact in the mobility and EV sectors. Since 1919, Kettering has prepared students for careers in the most cutting-edge high-tech fields,” said Kettering University President Robert K. McMahan, Ph.D.

“No one else does Co-op like Kettering where half of the college experience is hands-on classroom learning and half is paid Co-op employment. Leveraging our existing Co-op relationships with many of the MEDC’s partner employers makes our participation a win-win-win for our students, employers, and the State of Michigan,” McMahan said. “Kettering students are already found throughout these industries, and The Michigander Scholars program offers another tremendous opportunity to retain such talent here in Michigan.”

Wayne State is a recognized economic driver in Detroit and the state of Michigan, with a $2.6 billion annual impact. More than 70% of Wayne State’s nearly 300,000 alumni live and work in Michigan.

“Wayne State is truly in our community, we work for our community and we do so with our community,” said Wayne State President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D. “We aspire to build upon our strong legacy of economic development in Detroit and Michigan by deepening our engagement with the business community and through efforts like The Michigander Scholars initiative, which will ensure students graduate career ready and prepared to thrive.”


How It Works

The Michigander Scholars program focuses on Michigan university students earning technology or engineering degrees in career fields that are important to Michigan employers. As a Scholar, students participating in the program can earn a scholarship, as well as gain access to networking opportunities, industry education, internships, and jobs.

Active participants in The Michigander Scholars program are eligible in their sophomore, junior, and senior years and graduate school years of college to receive up to $10,000 in scholarships. The scholarship funding is paid to the university by the MEDC and applied to the student’s account or refunded to the student.

  • Scholars can get a $5,000 scholarship after accepting an internship (including co-op) in an approved occupation from a participating employer. The remaining $5,000 is available if the Scholar completes a second internship or accepts a full-time job offer from an approved employer and commits to staying in Michigan for at least 12 months.
  • Scholars can get a $10,000 scholarship after they accept a full-time job offer in an approved occupation from a participating employer and commits to staying in Michigan for at least 12 months.


Beyond financial assistance, students can consider careers in one of the state’s focus industries by getting a close-up view of industry-leading employers. The program’s approach embraces direct interaction, mentorships, and interview preparation to help students understand the opportunities in a given industry.

Events may include:

  • Factory tours and small group chats with industry employees in key positions.
  • Trips to large industry trade shows across the state.
  • Information sessions and networking events with employers and industry partners.
  • One-on-one career mentoring from an industry professional, offering a look at career paths and life on the job.


Specific goals of the program include:

  • Ensuring Michigan students have an opportunity to build their career here in the state.
  • Giving key Michigan employers direct access to a skilled workforce that’s ready to answer their industry’s needs.
  • Making Michigan more competitive in the national competition for advanced manufacturing talent.


The Michigander Scholars program aligns Michigan’s focus industries and the MEDC industry-specialized Talent Action Teams to make sure students, universities, and employers are working toward common goals.

  • The MEDC works with employers to identify the priority occupations and skills needed in their industry.
  • Higher education partners make sure degree programs are training and developing students to meet industry requirements, both now and in the future.
  • Higher education partners ensure their programs have relevance for their students, institution, and community.


Participating universities set the eligibility requirements for participating in the Scholars program and administer the program on the ground at their institution. The standards for participating generally include pursuing a degree that aligns with priority occupations and participating in a certain number of university, employer and industry events.

Students interested in learning more about The Michigander Scholars benefits and how to apply can visit their school’s program webpage at: Kettering UniversityMichigan State UniversityMichigan Technological University, University of Michigan and Wayne State University.

About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.