Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today announced Futures for Frontliners, a program that offers free tuition to Michiganders who worked in essential industries during the April 1-June 30 period but do not have a college degree. The tuition is good at the workers’ local community college and allows them to pursue an associate degree or a skills certificate on a full-time or part-time basis while they continue to work.
Those without a high school diploma or equivalency are eligible for services to help them prepare for and complete this credential and go on to a community college or job training program. The application period runs through December 31 of this year with enrollment available beginning in January of 2021.
“Michigan Retailers Association is a champion of Futures for Frontliners because it’s a way to say thank you to employees in grocery, hardware, pharmacy and other essential stores that remained open during the shutdown in Michigan,” said MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan. “They’ve earned this.”
Here are five things to know about the program:
1. What is Futures for Frontliners?
Futures for Frontliners is a last-dollar scholarship program for essential workers to attend community college tuition-free – including those without a high school diploma or equivalency.
2. Who is eligible?
o All essential workers in Michigan without a college degree or high school equivalency who worked at the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
o Specifically, applicants must have worked at least half-time in 11 of 13 weeks from April 1 through June 30. 3. How do Frontliners apply?
o Frontliners returning or applying for community college can apply online starting September 9 at Michigan.gov/frontliners. The application will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Applications for the program must be submitted no later than December 31, 2020.
o Frontliners interested in pursuing their high school completion first, or while dual- enrolled in community college, may apply online starting September 9 at Michigan.gov/Frontliners. The application will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Applications to the program must be submitted no later than December 31, 2020.
4. When can a person accepted to the Frontliners program start classes?
o Frontliners returning to or starting community college or seeking their high school
diploma or equivalency, may start classes anytime in 2021 and as early as the winter semester beginning in January of 2021. Frontliners can pursue up to an associate degree or skills certificate at their local community college tuition-free. Frontliners can prepare for and attain a high school diploma or equivalency, potentially prior to enrollment in postsecondary education or training, or while dual enrolled.
5. Where can Frontliners learn more?