The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a new financial aid program for adults. The grant addresses workforce needs by helping adults pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need. Grant recipients must maintain Missouri residency and work in Missouri for three years after graduation to prevent the grant from becoming a loan that must be repaid with interest.

6 steps to get on the fast track. Select an approved program. Submit your college application. File the FAFSA. Create a state aid portal account. Complete the Fast Track application. Finalize self certification form.

 

Eligibility

  • Individuals who are 25 years or older or individuals who have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years can participate.

  • The grant will serve students who have not earned a bachelor's degree and are planning to enroll part time or full time.

  • Individuals who make no more than $80,000 filing jointly, or no more than $40,000 per year, filing any other tax status.

Application process

  • Find and enroll in an approved program at an eligible institution.

  • Complete the Fast Track application, available through the State Student Financial Aid Portal. Click here to register for the portal and to complete your Fast Track application. Find the Fast Track application listed under the "Estimate Eligibility" tab. Choose the academic year and scroll down to apply.

  • You must complete the FAFSA each year you are enrolled (or are planning to enroll) in college. Individuals interested in receiving Fast Track for the 2020-21 academic year will need to complete the 2020-21 FAFSA, using tax information from 2018.

    • To receive a disbursement for a term beginning on or after June 1, 2021 you must submit a 2021-22 Fast Track application and complete the 2021-22 FAFSA, using tax information from 2019. Your award for that term will be processed after the July 1 beginning of the 2021-22 academic year.

  • The deadline for submitting a Fast Track application for the 2020-21 academic year is May 15, 2021.

The department receives electronic FAFSA records for Missouri residents directly from the federal government. The department cannot process your application until you have a FAFSA on file. 

 

Awards

 

  • The Fast Track grant is designed to ensure, when combined with other governmental financial aid, that tuition and fees are fully covered.
  • Awards will be for any remaining tuition and fees 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.
  •  You must complete a self-certification form for each disbursement. Return the form to mdhestudentportal@dhewd.mo.gov or:

    Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development

    Attn: Fast Track

    P.O. Box 1469

    Jefferson City, MO 65102

  • The processing time for each disbursement includes school verification of your eligibility, your acceptance of the award and return of both the signed promissory note and self-certification form, and MDHEWD review of submitted information. 
    • You will be notified by text or email each time action is required and must respond by the deadline provided in the Student Portal to prevent cancellation of the disbursement. 
  • Disbursements for the 2020-21 academic year must be made by June 30, 2021. Disbursements initiated after June 1 may not be processed in time to meet this deadline.

 

Grant requirements

 

  • This grant may be renewed by meeting all of the initial requirements and by making satisfactory progress, which includes maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  • The grant requires that students graduate from an approved institution, maintain Missouri residency, achieve qualifying employment in Missouri within 12 months of graduation, and maintain qualifying employment in Missouri for at least three years.
  • One-third of the aggregate amount received through the Fast Track grant will remain a grant for each year of residency and employment. If the recipient meets the residency and employment requirements for less than the full three years, any remaining balance will be converted to a loan and will be repayable with interest.

 

 

Learn more details about eligibility requirements, renewal requirements, and how to keep the grant from converting to a loan.

 

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