I really have to tip my hat to those who are putting themselves in harm's way every day. This virus is definitely no joke and those who have been forced to be surrounded by potential carriers regularly needed some kind of compensation. It looks like that is about to happen, as a new bill was originally brought up in April, with more of it being elaborated by Governor Whitmer recently. The nearly 625,000 essential workers in Michigan are eligible for free education, currently only for community college.

If you're one of these workers, here's what their website says you must do become eligible for the program. All applicants must:

- Be a Michigan resident

- Have a high school diploma or equivalent (ex: GED)

- Have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for 11 of the 13 weeks between April 1 – June 30, 2020

- Have been required by their job to work outside the home at least some of the time between April 1 – June 30, 2020

- Not have previously earned an associate or bachelor's degree

- Not be in default on a Federal student loan

- Complete a Futures for Frontliners scholarship application by 11:59 pm on December 31, 2020

Luckily for those in Southwest Michigan, we have Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Kellogg Community College, both of whom will be taking applicants for this program. Kalamazoo and Battle Creek have a large population with lots of stores that have remained open especially at the hight of the pandemic, so I'm sure those workers will be taking advantage of this. If interested, you can start your application here.

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