Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant

Fast Track is a new financial aid program for Missouri residents. 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Fast Track New Applicant Checklist

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

Fast Track Renewal Checklist

  • Maintain enrollment in an approved program
  • Have a valid FAFSA on file for the current school year
  • Be 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.
  • Complete a Fast Track application within the financial aid portal
  • Complete Self-Certification
  • Complete Fast Track Loan Counseling
  • Sign and Submit all documents related to Fast Track program

What are the approved program at OTC?

Please follow the link to Qualifying Programs

What does Fast Track pay for?

  • Tuition (maximum number of 30 hours in semester)
  • Common fees:
    • Student fee
    • Technology fee (not including labs)
    • Security fee
    • Facility/infrastructure fee per semester
    • Program fee
  • Up to $500 to cover any remaining educational costs if all tuition and fees are covered by other federal and state aid.

What is not covered by Fast Track?

  • Miscellaneous fees such as Lab and online course fees
  • Books and supplies

How much will I receive?

  • 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.

When does Fast Track Expire?

A student’s eligibility expires when any of the following occur:

  • Receipt of the grant for four semesters of full time enrollment or 8 semesters of part time enrollment.
  • Receipt of a bachelor’s degree
  • Reaching 200 percent of the academic time typically required to complete the program of study.

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 with 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.

How much will my loan be if I don't meet requirements?

Recipients will receive a repayment schedule from the department, with the payment varying depending on the total amount owed plus interest. Repayment will normally be based on a 10-year repayment plan unless the $50 minimum payment results in a shorter repayment period. Payments are delinquent if they are more than 10 days late. There is no penalty for early repayment.