Adult Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant & FAQs

Fast track grant infographicThe Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a new financial aid program for adults beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. The program addresses workforce needs by helping adults pursue a certificate, degree, or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need. More than 635 program areas have been designated as eligible. The grants are available for CMU's online, seated and hybrid courses and programs.

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.

A list of approved programs can be found in this document.

FAQs

Am I eligible for Fast Track?

You must meet all listed:

  • You are 25 years or older OR you have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years can participate.
  • You have not earned a bachelor’s degree and are planning to enroll part time or full time.
  • You make no more than $80,000 filing jointly, or no more than $40,000 per year, filing any other tax status.
  • You are a Missouri resident and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and are willing to work in Missouri for three years after graduation to prevent the grant from becoming a loan that must be repaid with interest.
  • You do not have circumstances preventing receipt of federal Title IV student financial aid, such as being in default on a federal loan or having a criminal record preventing receipt of federal Title IV student financial aid.

How do I apply?

Fast Track new applicant checklist:

  1. Select an approved program from CMU.
  2. Submit your CMU application.
  3. File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  4. Create a state student aid portal login.
  5. Complete the Fast Track application within the financial aid portal.
  6. Read and finalize the self-certification in financial aid portal or download the self-certification form (PDF).

    and send to:
    Missouri Department of Higher Education
    Attn: Fast Track
    P.O. Box 1469
    Jefferson City, MO 65102

 

How often do I have to apply?

  • You must complete a Fast Track application each school year.
  • You must complete a self-certification form each semester.
  • If a program completion time is less than a year or is a non-credit program. There will be two disbursements during the program’s duration.

For example: a 20 week program would have two disbursements:

  • 1st disbursement at the beginning of the program
  • Student must complete 1st half of program before they can request a 2nd disbursement by completing and mailing a self-disclosure form.

How do I keep Fast Track Eligibility?

Fast track may be renewed each term by meeting all of the initial requirements and by making satisfactory progress, which includes:

  • maintaining at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average.
  • be enrolled at least half-time at a participating institution in a program designated as eligible by the Coordinating Board.
  • Short-term (less than 300 clock hours) and noncredit programs meet this by definition.

Can I change my program?

Once certified for a program, a student must complete/graduate from the approved program or the grant becomes a loan. If a student wants to change programs, even if it is another approved program, they must submit a new application.

You should not change programs without approval through the Fast Track Office.

How many programs can I get funding for?

Applicants may complete more than one program and continue to receive funds until his or her eligibility expires.

How do I keep from owing money on Fast Track?

In order to avoid the grant being converted to a loan, the student must do all of the following:

  • Maintain at least half-time enrollment in an eligible program until graduation. Students may take a leave of absence of up to 12 months without triggering this requirement.
  • Graduate from an approved institution.
  • Verify residency in the state for 12 months after graduation and maintain residency for at least three years.
  • Achieve qualifying employment within 12 months of graduation and maintain qualifying employment for at least three years

Can I transfer to a different college?

Students may transfer from one participating institution to another without losing grant eligibility but the department may adjust awards to reflect the tuition and fee costs at the new institution.

What are the residency and employment requirements?

The grant requires the student to maintain Missouri residency, achieve qualifying employment within 12 months of graduation, and maintain qualifying employment for at least three years. This does not have to be a job related to what the student is going to school for.