Michigan offering free tuition to essential workers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (NewsNation Now) — The state of Michigan has launched an initiative to offer tuition-free college for those who provided essential services under the stay-at-home order.

The program can be used to complete high school education or earn a community college or a skills certificate. An estimated 625,000 people could benefit from the program.

Futures for Frontliners, was put forth by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in April and is inspired by the GI Bill that funded the education of those who served during World War II, according to NewsNation affiliate WOOD.

People who may qualify include those who worked in the medical field, manufacturing, nursing homes, grocery stores, sanitation, delivery and retail sectors.

Program eligibility includes:

  • Be a Michigan resident.
  • Worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 through June 30.
  • Required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 through June 30.
  • Don’t have an associate or bachelor’s degree.
  • Not be in default on a federal student loan.
  • Complete the scholarship application by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 31.

The initiative is a $24 million investment that is funded by the governor’s Education Emergency Relief Fund, a part of the federal CARES Act.

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