Financial Aid For Truck Driver Training
Ways to get financial aid assistance for truck driving school include the Workforce Investment Act, student loans, scholarships, tuition reimbursement, and company-paid training. Military veterans also have their own options available.
Even though CDL training programs are relatively short, only ranging between a few weeks to a few months, the total cost of CDL training can still be more than most people have on hand. Read on to learn about some of the financial aid options that may be available to you.
Where to Start
First things first, fill out a FAFSA application. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will determine your eligibility for federal funds. We also recommend contacting your local school and speaking with their admissions department.
Workforce Investment Act
The Adult and Dislocated Worker Program, under Title I of the Workforce Investment Act, may have funds available for your truck driver training. These funds are offered at the state level, helping people train for new jobs when they are unable to find one in their current industry.
There are private loan institutions that may provide personal loans to students looking for assistance to pay for CDL training. These loans normally require a credit check. If your credit score is a little low, sometimes having a cosigner will help your chances of approval. Getting a loan from a private lender is a common form of financial aid for truck driving school.
Aid for Military Veterans
There are truck driver programs that specialize in training for military veterans. Some companies even offer low-cost tuition just for veterans. Your military benefits, in addition, may cover the cost of CDL training. The Montgomery G.I. Bill, for example, can help cover the cost of your schooling.
Scholarships and Grants
There are scholarships and grants available specifically for CDL training. Contact your local school and ask them about scholarships and grants that may be available. Here are a couple examples of scholarships just for truck driver training:
Howes Truckers of Tomorrow Scholarship: $1,000 scholarships towards the tuition costs of attending selected SAGE truck driving schools.
Women in Trucking Foundation Scholarship: As the name implies, this scholarship is only available to women who are pursuing a truck driving career. This scholarship is worth $500 to $2,000 per student.
Remember, most scholarship and grant programs (like the Pell Grant) require you to have a FAFSA on file before you are considered.
Some major carriers offer partial or full reimbursement for the cost of your CDL training. Usually, this type of reimbursement comes in the form of small payments added on to your paycheck over the first year working for the company.
Company-Paid Truck Driver Training
Company-paid CDL training from a company with a good reputation can be an excellent option for some students. However, you should be fully informed before signing any contract. The company-paid option normally requires the student to pay for the cost of training, in small sums from each paycheck, over their first year of employment.