Advance Notice: Briefs

60K enroll in state’s free tuition program for frontline workers

By: - September 29, 2020 1:48 pm

Andrea Acevedo, president of SEIU Healthcare Michigan with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to announce the Future for Frontliners program, Sept. 10, 2020 | Whitmer office photo

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Sept. 10 a state program offering free college tuition for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis. The state says that more than 60,000 Michiganders have submitted applications for the Futures for Frontliners program.

The program is funded from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. To be eligible, applicants must be a Michigan resident, have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the weeks between April 1 and June 30, have been required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time during then, not have previously earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and not be in default on a federal student loan.

Applicants must complete a Futures for Frontliners scholarship application by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31.

“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,” Whitmer said. “I encourage every eligible frontline worker to see if this free college scholarship opportunity is right for them.”

In Whitmer’s first State of the State address in February 2019, she announced the goal to have 60% of Michigan residents attain a post-high school credential by 2030.

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is hosting an initial series of regional virtual town hall sessions on the Future for Frontliners program:

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.

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