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Nearly 2,900 who worked during COVID shutdown accepted by state to attend GRCC through Futures for Frontliners program

Nearly 2,900 people have been accepted to attend Grand Rapids Community College through Futures for Frontliners so far – but the deadline is approaching for others interested in the state scholarship program to take the final steps.

Futures for Frontliners provides a pathway to an associate degree or a technical certificate for those who worked in essential industries during the COVID-19 shutdown last spring. Students living within the boundaries of the Kent Intermediate School District can attend tuition free, while others pay the difference between the resident and non-resident rate tuition – a substantial savings.

Feb. 1 is the deadline for people who filed applications to the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to submit required information, including employment verification.

GRCC specialists can assist with last-minute questions through email at, the telephone hotline at (616) 234-3344, through text at (616) 404-4519, and through the webpage,

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students of all ages to advance in their careers with a GRCC education, tuition-free,” said Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of Student Affairs.

“This is available for new students, and also for those who want to pick up where they left off and finish a degree or certificate. We don’t want anyone to miss the final deadline. Our specialists also can assist with the financial aid forms and answer questions about enrolling at GRCC.”

More than 120,000 people statewide applied for the scholarships, which are part of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s goal of having 60 percent of working-age Michiganders earning a college degree or certificate by 2030.

Of the nearly 2,900 accepted by the state to attend GRCC through the program, about 1,600 are enrolled in winter semester classes. The state is reviewing applications from several thousand more students, awaiting employment verification and other information.

The Futures for Frontliners program is aimed at those who worked at least half-time in frontline jobs for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 and June 30 and who do not have a college degree.

Eligible frontline industry examples include – but are not limited to -- food and agriculture; healthcare and public health; critical manufacturing; communications and information technology, including news media; law enforcement, public safety, and first responders; public works; and transportation and logistics.

Students can use the scholarship to enroll in late-starting winter semester classes as well as summer and fall 2021 classes.

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college – and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.


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