MICHIGAN — The application deadline for the tuition-free pandemic program “Futures for Frontliners” is fast approaching.
The application deadline is Dec. 31. The program lets frontline workers apply for free college tuition towards an associate’s degree or industry-recognized skills certificate at community college, even if they have not completed their high school diploma.
Interested frontline workers should visit michigan.gov/Frontliners to explore statewide and regional in-demand career opportunities and get started on their applications.
Recently, Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University joined together to offer an expansion of the state’s free-tuition program. The colleges are now offering essential workers a scholarship to Eastern Michigan University for a bachelor’s degree upon completion of their associate’s degree at Henry Ford College. Read more about that program here.
On Tuesday, the state released data on the success of the program, which was initiated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has crippled local economies nationwide and put immense pressure on many essential workers. Since the program launch in early September, 100,000 essential workers have applied and will soon be on their way to completing a tuition-free degree or skills certificate.
Our frontline workers put their lives on the line every day to provide crucial support to our families during this pandemic and they deserve support long after this crisis is over — Governor Whitmer
The program is also in line with Governor Whitmer’s effort to increase training and education in high-paying and in-demand fields.
“Our frontline workers put their lives on the line every day to provide crucial support to our families during this pandemic and they deserve support long after this crisis is over,” Whitmer said. “That’s what the Futures for Frontliners program is all about. I encourage everyone who is eligible to take advantage of this free path to a degree or skills certificate they’ve been dreaming about. This initiative is not only a way to say, ‘thank you’, it’s an opportunity to provide a pathway to better paying jobs.”
The state has released new regional career data that outline in-demand occupations by education and training requirements. They tout job growth in a broad range of sectors across the state, including healthcare, information technology and professional trades among others, with salaries for the majority of these in-demand careers coming in well above area averages.
Beyond the pandemic program, those interested in secondary education are encouraged to explore free education and training resources at Skills to Work, including opportunities to take the College Board’s College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests for free through ModernStates.org. In early 2021, Michiganders age 25 and older will be able to apply for free college tuition through Michigan Reconnect.
Application data can now be viewed at the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives (LMI) Futures for Frontliners data map, which shows applicant submission numbers by county, House and Senate districts.