This new statewide financial aid program is available to adults entering college for the first time or who have some college credit. The grant can be used to pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need in Missouri.
The Fast Track grant ensures that tuition and fees are fully covered when combined with other government financial aid. Awards will cover any remaining tuition and fees not covered by other state and federal student aid programs. Students with other aid covering their full tuition and fee costs are eligible to receive an additional award of up to $500 to be used for other education-related expenses.
Southeast Missouri State University has dozens of programs for Fast Track recipients to pursue, with many of these programs available at Southeast’s campuses in Kennett, Sikeston and Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and through Southeast Online. Many of the programs are focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), teacher education, nursing, healthcare management and agriculture.
The grant is open to Missouri residents who are at least 25 or who have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years, have not earned a bachelor’s degree and who enroll at least half-time and are earning no more than $80,000 filing jointly or no more than $40,000 a year as a single tax filer. Grant recipients must work in Missouri for three calendar years after completing their degree.
“We are extremely pleased to be a participant in this program,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “Many individuals put their college dreams on hold while working or raising a family. It is never too late to return to school, but we understand that in order to be successful, these individuals must have access to financial resources to make this next step in advancing their education. Assisting students with the cost of education to help them advance their careers while doing our part to build a qualified and competitive workforce to meet the needs of business and industry in Missouri is a win-win situation. We hope many adults will take advantage of the new Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant”
John Mehner, president of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce, said he is hopeful Fast Track goes a long way toward improving Missouri’s workforce and growing talent right here at home.
“Getting more adults additional training will positively and substantially change the complexion of the workforce in Missouri,” Mehner said. “Many jobs go unfilled because employers cannot find skilled individuals to fill them. The Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant is a wonderful opportunity to increase those in the state’s workforce with postsecondary education credentials while advancing the Missouri economy. We are very happy to see the business and higher education communities partnering toward this important goal of meeting the talent needs in our state.”
Dan Presson, director of Career Services at Southeast, said the FastTrack Workforce Incentive Grant offered by the state of Missouri is an excellent opportunity for Southeast Missouri State University and our regional workforce to find cutting-edge solutions to labor market shortfalls.
“These programs will improve opportunities for adults and students who are looking for retraining or to complete a degree program in an essential area of need,” Presson said. “Fast Track will not only benefit employers, but also our communities and the overall health of our region.”
For more information, visit the Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development or contact the Southeast Office of Admissions at (573) 651-2957 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Student Financial Services at (573) 651-2253 or email@example.com.