More than 1,000 essential workers so far accepted by state to attend GRCC through Futures for Frontliners

Oct. 16, 2020, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – More than 1,000 people have been accepted so far by the State of Michigan to attend Grand Rapids Community College through the Futures for Frontliners program.

The program provides a tuition-free pathway to an associate degree or a technical certificate to those who worked in essential industries during the COVID-19 shutdown.

More than 70,000 people statewide have applied for the program, according to the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. The program is part of Gov. Whitmer’s goal of having 60 percent of working-age Michiganders earning a college degree or certificate by 2030.

While more than 1,000 frontliners have been accepted so far by the state to attend GRCC, the number is expected to increase as the state continues to process applications. The state application is available at, and the deadline to apply is Dec. 31.

Once accepted by the state, new students must apply to GRCC at and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form.

GRCC has direct and easy connections with staff experts to answer questions and help frontliners start at GRCC.  Contact GRCC through the futures for Frontliners hotline at (616) 234-3344; through email at; and text at (616) 404-4519. Information also is available at

“This is an incredible opportunity for West Michigan residents to either start or continue working toward a degree or certificate, or to resume their educational journey,” said Tina Hoxie, GRCC’s associate provost and dean of Student Affairs.

“An education will help workers of any age gain new skills and advance in their careers. People who aren’t accepted through the Frontliners program should still consider applying to GRCC, and talking to our advising and financial aid experts to see if there are other ways to reduce costs and schedule classes around home and work responsibilities.”

Students would be eligible to begin attending during the winter semester, starting in January 2021.

The Futures for Frontliners program is for people 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.

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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