Essential workers now qualify for free college in Michigan

People required to work during the height of the pandemic can now attend community college for free under a program launched Thursday by Governor Whitmer.

Nurses, police officers, farm workers, and grocery store clerks – all are people considered “essential workers” during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and all now qualify for free community college under a program announced Thursday by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

“Over the past six months Michiganders across the state have put their lives on the line every single day to protect others from this deadly virus,” she said during a press conference. “It’s a lot more important that we act and treat them as the heroes they are and not just call them heroes.”

The program, called Futures for Frontliners, is funded by $24 million allocated to the governor by the CARES Act.

In order to qualify, a person must:

  • live in Michigan
  • have been required to work at least part time for 11 weeks between April 1 and June 30
  • not already have a degree
  • not have defaulted on a federal student loan
  • be considered a “frontline worker

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

You can read more about the program here.

Independent journalism is essential to a healthy democracy. Make a donation today.

Thank you to the community institutions that support our work:


Sorry for this annoying banner — it's required so we stay out of Internet jail. Like most websites, we use cookies to help some features work better. Read our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top