Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant
The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a program designed to provide adults with the education and skills needed to enter the workforce in fields that are in high demand. Changes to the program made during the 2022 legislative session increase the number of eligible training providers and expand the program to include apprenticeships.
Also new, the grant will no longer convert to a loan that must be repaid if recipients fail to live and work in Missouri for three years after completing their program or apprenticeship. However, recipients are still required to report their employment and residency to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development for three years.
These changes became effective on August 28, 2022. Beginning in fall 2022, this program will serve both students and apprentices by providing grants to assist with coursework tuition and general fees or direct costs of an apprenticeship such as tools, books and uniforms.
Students must be enrolled in a designated program of study at a participating Missouri school. Apprentices must be participating in an apprenticeship in Missouri that is approved by the U.S. Department of Labor and that prepares them for employment in a high demand field as designed by the department.
The designated programs and apprenticeships are available in the application. A current list is available here.
To be eligible, you must:
At least 25 years old, or
If you are a student, have not enrolled in an educational program (high school or postsecondary) in the last two years, or
If you are an apprentice, have not been enrolled in a postsecondary program in the last two years, unless the program relates to your current apprenticeship.
Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Be a Missouri resident, an active duty member of the U.S. military transferred to Missouri, or the spouse of an active duty military member.
- If you are a student who is a Missouri resident, you must have been a Missouri resident for at least two years prior to receiving the grant.
- Apprentices need to be a Missouri resident, but do not need to be a resident for at least two years prior to receiving the grant.
Have filed a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA®), if applicable. Check with your provider to see if a FAFSA® is required to determine your Fast Track award.
Have a federal adjusted gross income as documented on your most recent Missouri 1040 Individual Income Tax Return (or federal 1040 form if you’re active duty military) of either:
$80,000 or less if your tax filing status is married filing jointly, or
$40,000 or less for any other tax filing status.
For students, enroll in an eligible program at least half-time.
- For apprentices, be formally participating in a U.S. Department of Labor-approved and DHEWD designated apprenticeship and meeting any requirements defined by your apprenticeship provider.
- Have not yet received a bachelor’s degree.
For a renewal student, defined as an individual who has received a Fast Track grant in a previous academic year, you must meet all of the above requirements and, in addition, must be making satisfactory academic progress, must maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average and have not received a bachelor’s degree.
For a renewal apprentice, defined as an individual who has received a Fast Track grant in a previous award year, you must meet all the above requirements and, in addition, must maintain active apprenticeship status and not have received a bachelor’s degree.
The application is available electronically through the State Financial Aid Portal for the 2022-2023 academic year.
You must create an account in MDHEWD’s Student Portal to access the application. Information about the Student Portal is available here.
Login to the State Financial Aid Portal.
Select the Estimate Eligibility link in the menu at the top of the page.
Select the appropriate academic year from the “Select an academic year” dropdown menu.
Click the Apply link in the Fast Track Workforce Incentive grant row of the table.
You must upload a copy of your most recent Missouri 1040 Individual Income Tax Return to complete your application. For the 2022-2023 academic year, summer and fall coursework will be covered but awards will be made retroactively.
- The Fast Track grant is designed to ensure, when combined with other state and federal non-loan financial aid, that tuition and fees are fully covered for students and that direct apprenticeship costs such as tools, books and uniforms are covered for apprentices.
- Awards will be for any remaining costs not covered by other state and federal non-loan student aid programs.
- For students, if other aid covers the full tuition and fee costs, the award will be up to $500 to cover other costs such as books and supplies, room and board, or transportation.
How long can I receive an award?
Your eligibility expires when the earliest of the following occurs:
Receipt of the grant for four semesters or the equivalent
For an eligible student, four semesters means
- Sixty (60) semester credit hours Ninety (90) quarter credit hours
- One thousand eight hundred (1,800) clock hours
For an eligible apprentice, you have up to forty-eight (48) months of eligibility
Receipt of a bachelor’s degree
Reaching 200 percent of the academic time typically required to complete the program of study.
Fast Track grant recipients will be required to report their employment and residency to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development for three years. More information will be available at a later time.
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