60,000+ apply to Futures for Frontliners program in first 2 weeks
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - More than 60,000 people in Michigan have applied for free college tuition from the Futures for Frontliners program in its first two weeks.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer created the program to help essential workers like grocery store employees and garbage collection crews obtain an associate’s degree or attend technical school as a gesture of thanks for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This past spring, these brave men and women put their lives on the line every day to ensure we have essential services and products we need to stay healthy and safe," Whitmer said. “I am truly thrilled to see that so many are taking advantage of this program – they earned it.”
The Futures for Frontliners program is modeled after the GI Bill, which provides tuition funding for military service members. Michigan has budgeted $24 million from the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief fund, which is part of Michigan’s CARES Act share, to launch the program.
To qualify, workers must have worked at least part time for 11 weeks in person between April first and June 30 in an essential industry. They also must not have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree already.
Applications will be received on the state website through Dec. 31.
“Good paying jobs and a stronger Michigan economy require more of us to have an education beyond high school," said Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “The strong interest in Futures for Frontliners shows us that Michiganders are ready to build a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their loved ones.”
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