The state still has funds left to give to Missourians interested in the new Fast Track financial aid program. Last October, the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development began distributing funds to qualifying students attending Missouri’s public colleges and universities. The program’s budget this year is $5 million.
Fast Track covers the full cost of schooling for adults mainly 25 or older pursuing a certificate, credential or bachelors in a high demand field. Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development Director Zora Mulligan tells Missourinet some of the industries the program centers around are teaching, skilled trades, allied health and STEM related jobs.
“When you look at what are Fast Track students participating in, it’s mostly Allied health, which makes perfect sense. A lot of students also taking advantage of opportunities in business fields,” she says.
Mulligan says interest in the program is increasing statewide.
“We’re getting tons and tons of traffic on our social media, on our website. They’re a lot of people looking into this opportunity and thinking about whether it’s the right time for them to go back to school. Ozarks Technical Community College, for example, they’ve got a bunch of students enrolled in Fast Track,” says Mulligan. “When we look at what they’re choosing to enroll in, Fast Track is really focused on areas where we know people can get fairly short term training that connects them with a job that is in demand and has pretty good wages.”
Requirements include a maximum household income of $80,000 per year if filing taxes jointly or $40,000 annually for a single income household. Those awarded a grant must work in Missouri for three calendar years or pay interest.
For more information about Fast Track, click here.