The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a financial aid program that addresses workforce needs by encouraging adults to pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need.
Am I eligible?
- Individuals who are 25 or older or individuals who have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years can participate.
- The program will serve students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree and are planning to enroll part-time or full-time.
- Individuals who make no more than $40,000 per year, filing single, or not more than $80,000, filing jointly.
How can I apply?
- To access the application, visit dhewd.mo.gov/initiatives/fasttrackgrant_for_students.php and click on the State Financial Aid Portal. Applicants should also enroll at the college or university they plan to attend, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the program year in which they’re applying.
- You must complete the FAFSA each year you are enrolled (or are planning to enroll) in college.
The Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) receives electronic FAFSA records for Missouri residents directly from the federal government. The MDHE cannot process your application until you have a FAFSA on file.
How much can I receive?
- The Fast Track program is designed to ensure, when combined with other governmental financial aid, that tuition and fee costs are fully covered.
- Awards will be for any remaining tuition and fee costs not covered by other state and federal student aid programs.
- For individuals for which other aid covers the full tuition and fee costs, students are eligible for an award of up to $500 to cover other education-related expenses.
To learn more about Fast Track and the eligibility requirements, visit mofasttrack.com.
A notable change resulting from legislation that passed in 2022 is the expansion to include more training providers and registered apprentices. Qualified students attending a training provider or apprenticeship program approved under the Office of Workforce Development’s Eligible Training Provider System and enrolled in a Coordinating Board designated Fast Track program can receive financial aid through the program.
“Fast Track is a valuable program that continues to serve a key population,” said Leroy Wade, interim commissioner of higher education. “With the recent changes in the program, more Missouri adult learners will avoid or lessen student loan debt as they pursue continued education. The addition of apprenticeships and training providers will help grow Missouri’s workforce and strengthen the state’s economy.”
Also included under Senate Bill 672, sponsored by Sen. Lincoln Hough and signed by Gov. Mike Parson on July 1 are provisions that extend Fast Track through Aug. 28, 2029, and eliminates the possibility of the grant being converted into a loan if residency and work requirements were not met.
Although the revised program requires an individual be a Missouri resident for two years prior to receiving the grant for some individuals, active duty service members and military spouses are exempt from that requirement.
The legislation passed earlier this year with an added benefit for those participating in a U.S. Department of Labor-approved Registered Apprenticeship. It allows those individuals to receive aid for education-related costs, such as tools, books, and uniforms if they are eligible for Fast Track.
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