Front and center

Applications for frontline worker scholarship available until Dec. 31


Ben Bolstrum, News Editor

Since its inception two weeks ago, there have been 60,000 citizens in Michigan that have taken advantage of and applied to “Futures for Frontliners.”
This new opportunity aims to reward workers who have provided their time during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is striving to pave the way for workers to pursue an education while still providing for themselves and their families. After the looming cloud that is SARS-CoV-2, many feel that workers unwavering integrity during the pandemic should be rewarded. This program is one such way to give back to those who gave their all for their community and ensure individuals who were deemed essential will have a future in Michigan.
“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, I am truly thrilled to see that so many are taking advantage of this program – they earned it,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer explained in a press release back on Sept. 29. “I encourage every eligible frontline worker to see if this free college scholarship opportunity is right for them.”
It is important to note that this initiative isn’t open to just anyone and does come with eligibility stipulations. In fact, to qualify for this program, current Schoolcraft College students must:

(1) Apply for Futures for Frontliners.
(2) Submit a FAFSA application for financial aid, including submission of any additional documents that are requested.
(3) Register for classes for the winter 2021 semester, once registration becomes available Oct. 31, with a status of at least halftime (6-8 credits) to be eligible.

Other students must meet the following criteria to also be eligible for the program:

(1) Students must be a Michigan resident (which is based on parent for dependent students).
(2) Worked in an essential industry at least halftime for 11 of the 13 weeks during April 1 to June 30 of this year.
(3) Have work outside the home per job requirement
(4) Must have a high school diploma or equivalent.
(5) A student cannot have previously earned an associate or bachelor’s degree.
(6) Applicants must not be in default on a Federal student loan and complete an application by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.

There is different eligibility criteria for students without a high school diploma. These students may follow the same steps for applying, but must also contact [email protected].
For all eligible student, please note this award will only cover the in-district tuition rate and that the financial aid will only pay out once a student’s Pell grant award, Tuition Incentive Program (TIP), Michigan Competitive Scholarship (MCS) or any other tuition restricted awards they are eligible for have paid out to their account.
The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is holding several online events to discuss the Future for Frontliners program with education and workforce local to the following areas:
Detroit/Southeast Michigan, Oct. 13 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Upper Peninsula, Oct. 15 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Lansing/Central Michigan, Oct. 20 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
For more information about Futures for Frontliners, please visit Interested applicants may also call 517-636-7000 or email [email protected] for more support.

Graphic courtesy of