Earning a college certificate or degree can be a life-changing experience for any adult student. 

However, there can be many obstacles that often stand in the way — including financial barriers.

Thanks to the new Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant through the Missouri Department of Higher Education, a new financial aid funding stream is now available to adults beginning with the 2019-20 academic year.

“More than a third of all East Central College students are adult learners,” said Dr. Jon Bauer, president. “They make up an important part of our culture. This grant will give more adult students the opportunity to pursue a degree and advance their careers.”

The program addresses workforce needs by helping adults pursue a certificate, degree or industry-recognized credential in an area designated as high need. 

Adults who are 25 or older or individuals who have not been enrolled in any school within the last two years can participate.

The application and program list for the grant became available through the State Student Financial Aid Portal Aug. 5. 

Applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered. 

The Fast Track program is designed to ensure, when combined with other governmental financial aid, that tuition and fee costs are fully covered. 

Students are eligible for an award of up to $500 to cover education-related expenses.

Adults interested in applying for the Fast Track Workforce Incentive Grant can contact Barb Kuelker, ECC Fast Track liaison, at barb.kuelker@eastcentral.edu or 636-584-6571.