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Muskegon Community College encourages frontline workers to apply for free tuition before Dec. 31 deadline

MUSKEGON, MI – Muskegon Community College is encouraging frontline and essential workers in West Michigan to apply for free tuition through the statewide Futures for Frontliners program before the Dec. 31 deadline passes.

More than 430 frontline workers have been accepted to MCC through the statewide program and can begin classes in January 2021, according to a news release issued by the college. Another 2,200 applications are still being reviewed by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity as of Dec. 1.

That’s why the college is offering its resources to any applicants who may be struggling with the application process or who need help completing the required Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

“With the deadline almost here, we do not want any qualified individual in our community to miss this once-in-a-lifetime educational opportunity,” said MCC Provost and Executive Vice President John Selmon in a prepared statement.

“Since the program was launched in September, our entire support staff has been assisting these deserving individuals daily with their financial aid, registration, counseling and academic questions.”

MCC encourages any applicants with questions to call the college at 231-773-9131. A full list of who is eligible for the program can be found on the college website.

Applicants have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 31 to apply to the Future for Frontliners program, which is open to workers without an associate or bachelor’s degree who were deemed essential during the coronavirus pandemic. Once accepted into the program, students have to apply to MCC.

Eligible workers must have worked at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 and June 30, and were required by their job to work outside their home at least some of the time. Students accepted to the program can earn their first associate degree or industry-related certificate at any local Michigan community college.

The program is funded by $24 million from the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief, part of the federal funding Michigan received from the CARES Act. More than 85,000 people statewide have applied for the program, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer launched the program in September, which she said is modeled after the federal GI Bill covering education costs for military service members.

The governor said that Michigan health care workers, janitors, custodians, grocery store workers and others who continued risking exposure to COVID-19 through the pandemic for their job have earned the opportunity to further their education.

The state’s online application for the Future for Frontliners program can be found at https://www.michigan.gov/frontliners.

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