The Missouri Department of Higher Education officially launched the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant Program for the 2019-20 academic year. The grant application became available on August 7, less than a month after Governor Mike Parson signed Senate Bill 68 into law. The program becomes effective Aug. 28.
Fast Track is a new financial aid program that will provide tuition assistance to adults over 25 years of age, or individuals under 25 who have not been enrolled in education in at least two years. Grant recipients will receive assistance to work toward a certificate, a degree or an industry-recognized credential that fills a high-needs skill gap.
“Education changes lives,” said Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education. “Fast Track shows that Missouri is serious about reaching our adult population. This program opens up opportunities for training and education that many adults have not considered possible.”
Fast Track will help meet Missouri’s Big Goal of 60 percent of working-age adults having a high-quality certificate or degree by 2025.
“This grant is not only good for the individual, but it is also great for our businesses, communities, and the state,” Mulligan said.
A list of high-need occupations and program categories was developed utilizing long-term occupational projections developed by the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. After a public comment period, the Coordinating Board for Higher Education approved a final list for the 2019-20 academic year during its June meeting.
Adults interested in applying for Fast Track can visit the Missouri Fast Track website for details on eligibility requirements, qualifying programs and steps to complete the application process. Grant recipients must maintain Missouri residency and work in Missouri for three years after graduation to prevent the grant from converting to a loan.
For more information about Fast Track, visit the Department of Higher Education website.