When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked all Michiganders not working in essential jobs on March 23 to shelter at home to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, she recognized that hundreds of thousands of citizens would be required to continue working to keep the state functioning. These essential workers put their health and their lives on the line in hospitals, nursing homes, grocery stores, food processes, police and fire, and a myriad of other positions that enabled the rest of Michigan to stay safe.
The Governor proposed Futures for Frontliners, a tuition-free community college opportunity for front line workers without college degrees, to advance three key goals during the pandemic: show our gratitude for those who did so much for us at great risk to themselves; help meet the state’s already critical skills gap; and encourage enrollment in our community colleges.
Purpose of the program
Futures for Frontliners offers Michiganders, who worked in essential industries during the April 1-June 30, 2020 period but who do not have a college degree, free tuition at in-district rates to their local community college 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 Dec, 31, 2020 with enrollment available beginning in January 2021.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for Future for Frontliners, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- complete a Futures scholarship application by no later than 11:59 pm on December 31, 2020;
- be a Michigan resident;
- have worked in an essential industry at least half-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020; (view a list of essential occupations)
- have a high school diploma or equivalent, e.g. GED; Those without a high school diploma or equivalency are eligible for services to help them prepare for and complete this credential;
- apply to and be admitted to a Michigan public community college;
- not have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree;
- complete the current-year Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA);
- not be in default on a Federal student loan;
- enroll at least half time in a Pell-eligible program that is leading to an associate degree or industry-recognized certificate; and
- enroll and begin classes in the winter, summer, or fall semester of 2021.
Benefits to you
Future for Frontliners provides last dollar tuition at in-district rates, which counts Reconnect dollars first if the program is in effect, and mandatory fees for an industry-recognized occupational certificate or an associate degree at the student’s local public community college.
How and when to apply
- Frontliners can apply online starting Sept. 10, 2020 at Michigan.gov/frontliners. The application will take less than 10 minutes to complete. Applications for the program must be submitted no later than Dec. 31, 2020.
- If your application is approved, you will receive a letter of acceptance.
- To apply to Muskegon Community College, you must complete the free online application at www.muskegoncc.edu/apply. The admissions checklist can be found at MCC Application Checklist.
When can a person accepted to the Frontliners program start classes?
Frontliners returning to or starting community college may start classes anytime in 2021 and as early as the winter semester beginning in January.
Futures for Frontliners scholarship recipients must:
- remain a resident of the State of Michigan;
- take at least 12 credit hours (a minimum of 6 credits per semester) per calendar year and complete a degree or certificate within four years;
- maintain a 2.0 average for courses taken as part of the Futures program; and
- file a FAFSA at the beginning of each school year.
If you are interested in the Future for Frontliners program at Muskegon Community College, please complete the online form found here.
To schedule an appointment with Stephanie Briggs, the MCC Admissions Director, click here.
Director of Admissions