The truck driving industry is always hiring and salaries are competitive. That makes truck driving an attractive career, especially for people who are laid off or can’t find a job. Truck drivers also get to explore the country on the open road which is an opportunity most people don’t get to enjoy.
Of course, you can’t just walk into a truck driving company and begin driving. In order to become a truck driver, you must first learn how to drive a truck. Training can be expensive unless you are able to find alternative funding sources. Fortunately there are grants for truck driving school that you can apply for online.
Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
The first opportunity for those looking for grants for truck driving school is provided through 1998’s Workforce Investment Act (WIA). This program pays for training so that individuals can find jobs in all industries. Individuals must complete two phases before being eligible for training so it may take some time to complete the process.
While it is a great program, there is often a long review process. If you apply for federal grants for truck driving school make sure to keep careful records in case there are any problems during the review process. Government grants for truck driving school are prioritized according to financial need.
Truck Driving Training Reimbursement
Many truck driving companies will pay for your schooling if you agree to work for them for a predetermined amount of time. The guidelines for each program vary but most guidelines include the following:
All applicants must-
- Be at least 21 years of age to apply.
- Have had a valid U.S. driver’s license in good standing for at least one year.
- Meet Homeland Security/Transportation Administration requirements
- Be a U.S. resident or have a valid Green Card
- Provide references from previous employment
- Pass a drug/alcohol test
Swift Driving Academy will reimburse individuals for the $3900 comprehensive course over 26 months if they remain employed with Swift Transportation. Swift Transportation also offers a scholarship to U.S. veterans. The scholarships are for $1000 towards tuition at any Swift Academy for students who will make a 1 year commitment to driving for Swift Transportation.
Prime Inc. offers an apprentice paid CDL training. Training costs approximately 3500, all of which can be forgiven with one year employment with Prime Inc.
CSRT has a short period of obligation of only 8 months. There are 30 schools from which to choose spread out across the US.
The Bureau of Indian Education
The Bureau of Indian Education offers many different grants for Native Americans, some of which can be used as grants for truck driving school. For a list of grants and the associated guidelines, visit the Bureau of Indian Education website.
U.S. Department of Education
- Pell Grant
Another federal program is one that isn’t exclusive to truck driving school. The U.S. Department of Education sponsors the Pell Grant through the Federal Department of Student Aid for students who need financial aid assistance. The Pell Grant pays up to $4000 each semester for up to 12 semesters. The only way to apply for the Pell Grant is by filling out the Federal Aid for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) form. It is one of the most sought after grants because it does not have to be paid back. In addition to the Pell Grant, other financial aid that you can apply for with FAFSA includes Stafford Loans, PLUS LOAN and Work-Study Programs.
- The U.S. Department of Education also offers students the opportunity to apply for loans to pay for career schools including loans for trucking school. There are two types of loans:
Direct Subsidized- These loans are awarded based on financial need. The amount each individual qualifies for is decided by the institution they are attending. There is no interest accrued as long as the student is in school at least half-time, during the first six months after graduation, and during any deferment period.
Unsubsidized- These loans have similar guidelines except for the fact that interest does not stop accruing at any time.
For more information see studentaid.gov.
If you decide to go to a technical school to get truck driver training then you can be eligible for other financial assistance. State grant agencies can provide information about scholarships in your specific state at ed.gov.
Choose from any of the many opportunities to fund your education with federal grants for truck driving school. You can be on your way to a stable, well-paying career soon.