By Simon Albaugh – Yemeni American News.
Dearborn, Mich. – Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University have partnered for a Futures for Frontliners scholarship fund that will allow select students to earn their associate and bachelor’s degrees without paying tuition. The scholarship fund between the two colleges is part of the state-wide initiative that looks to pay for frontline workers’ tuition toward a two-year degree, or for part of a full bachelor’s degree.
“I’m proud that our state has developed a way to give back to the Michiganders who have been working around the clock to protect us,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “And I am grateful for this partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University to help more people get on a path to opportunity.”
The Partnership works by providing students who qualify for Futures for Frontliners program the opportunity to attend Henry Ford College at no cost. Then, when they move on to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Eastern Michigan University, the certain students who qualify for a Pell Grant will be able to attend EMU tuition-free. For any students who don’t qualify, a $5,000 scholarship will automatically be awarded to pay part of the student’s tuition.
“Our frontline workers put themselves at risk to serve Michigan citizens during a pandemic. Now we are putting them at the forefront by supporting their futures,” said HFC President Russ Kavalhuna. “This new partnership between Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University is an exciting opportunity for Frontliners to extend their education even further. It will maximize their investment in themselves as they seek new or advanced careers.”
The Futures for Frontliners program was established in order to help pay for higher education among people who work jobs that put them at highest risk during the pandemic. Among the jobs that are eligible are: grocery store workers, support staff in healthcare, and food delivery workers. For those who worked these jobs, workers would often work extended hours in order to keep up with increased demand, oftentimes without receiving hazard pay.
“Michigan’s frontline workers have worked tirelessly around the clock for months to maintain essential services and to keep our communities safe,” said Eastern Michigan University President Dr. James Smith. “This new scholarship initiative is an extension of the excellent collaboration we have had with Henry Ford College for many years and provides a new opportunity to reward frontline workers by creating an affordable path to a college degree.”
Like the GI Bill, Governor Whitmer has expressed that this program will help to grow the percentage of college-educated Michigan residents. By 2030, Whitmer wants Michigan to be home to a population with 60% attaining higher education degrees.
The statewide deadline to submit an application for Futures for Frontliners is Thursday, Dec. 31 of this year.