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The Lookout | November 30, 2020

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Nursing student thrilled with free tuition

Nursing student thrilled with free tuition
  • On September 25, 2020

By Chloe Gregg
Staff Writer

Futures for Frontliners has offered an amazing opportunity to Michiganders who have worked essentially throughout the pandemic and haven’t already gotten a degree: free tuition.

This program will allow almost half a million Michigan students to confidently take their classes and graduate without having to worry about debt or student loans.

Aelish Shay, an LCC nursing student from Midland, has taken advantage of the program after finding out she qualified for the free tuition. Shay began taking nursing classes at LCC this fall.

“Since school ended face to face classes in March, I have worked six to seven days a week at a retirement community,” Shay said. “At certain points I was working every day for three weeks straight.

“Throughout the entire quarantine I was going to work with a very vulnerable population.”

Shay’s supervisor at Burcham Hills, Nancy Hanford, said she is impressed with Shay’s hard work and dedication to not only her job, but her school as well.

“She has a wonderful work ethic, is very reliable, and is conscientious about her job. Her schoolwork has been very important to her.”

Shay said when she got an email from LCC about this opportunity, she audibly sighed with relief. For most people, and especially essential workers, free tuition is a huge burden lifted.

Shay said that even as a community college student, finding the money to continue education is never easy or guaranteed. Many college students are forced to go to work and school full-time in order to pay their bills. Futures for Frontliners changes that for many current and potential students.

“A lot of community colleges across the U.S. are starting to implement free or adjusted tuition for local students, and many countries already offer this at public universities,” Shay said. “Many communities all over the world and in our country have already achieved this, and have seen the benefits of reducing or throwing out tuition.

“I think providing education without the barrier of cost is a very basic need that, if met, can create amazing changes in a community.”

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