‘Frontliners’ offers free college tuition
By Chloe Gregg
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has made news with her announcement of Futures for Frontliners.
This is a program that offers free college tuition to Michigan adults who provided essential services during the Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April and June 30, 2020.
“This initiative is Michigan’s way of expressing gratitude to essential workers for protecting public health and keeping our state running,” Whitmer said.
“Whether it was stocking shelves, delivering supplies, picking up trash, manufacturing PPE or providing medical care, you were there for us. Now this is your chance to pursue the degree or training you’ve been dreaming about to help you and your own family succeed.”
To be eligible for this program, the basic requirements are:
* To be a Michigan resident;
* To have worked for 11 out of the 13 weeks between April 1 and June 30, 2020;
* To not have any previous degrees;
* To complete the scholarship application by the deadline of 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31, 2020.
Since in-person school ended in March, frontline worker and LCC student Aelish Shay has worked six to seven days out of the week at a retirement community. Shay said that at certain points, she was working every day for three weeks straight to pay bills.
Now, with Futures for Frontliners available, Shay said she won’t have to live paycheck to paycheck.
“Free tuition would be a huge weight lifted,” Shay said. “Even as a community college student where the cost is a lot lower than most four-year institutions, finding the money to continue my education has never been easy or guaranteed.
“Balancing work on top of school can be difficult, but I have to do it to pay for school. So having free tuition eases that burden and allows me to focus on the education that will lead me to a better paying job and greater opportunity.”
Essential workers are encouraged to visit www.michigan.gov/Frontliners for more information on career opportunities, colleges, and to get started on their application.