It’s common knowledge that getting your CDL has the potential to help you secure a lifetime of financial stability and dependable employment opportunities. However, even though it’s a sound investment, some may need help with the cost.
Fortunately, turning that initial sticker shock into productive problem-solving is possible. Asking the question, “How do I get a grant for truck driving school?” is an important first step towards offsetting steep expenses and making this career path more accessible to individuals who dream of going on the long haul.
Affording Your Dream Career With TDI
Answering the question, “How do I get a grant for truck driving school?” is just one resource among many for students seeking financial assistance to pursue their large goals. Here at TDI, we believe that the cost of truck driving school should never be a roadblock along the route to success.
While other trucking schools can charge up to $8,000 for CDL training, TDI’s out-of-pocket costs are as little as $225. Since 1973, we’ve committed to upholding the pillars of affordability and accessibility, helping generations of truckers overcome their obstacles and thrive.
Our Student Services Department is well-versed in getting applicants the resources they need; we’ll work with you to explore all your options and help connect you to career education funding, like funding assistance and employer tuition assistance opportunities. Contact us today to work with us and learn more about how we’re supporting the next generation of dedicated drivers.
Types of Available Trucking School Grants
Grants, in general, are financial aid packages awarded to qualified individuals for specific purposes, usually in the departments of education, research, or vocational training. Grants are one of many ways to overcome financial barriers to attending truck driving school, as they do not require repayment from the awardee.
There are several options when it comes to grants for CDL training programs:
- Funding Assistance: Local associations, charities, and other foundations offer grant programs for aspiring drivers, including the Women In Trucking Foundation and the Commercial Vehicle Training Association.
- Company-Paid CDL Training: Because of the ongoing truck driver shortage, many companies have incentivized new drivers by investing in tuition assistance programs. Once a driver gets hired, an employer may offer partial or even full CDL tuition reimbursement, usually paid monthly, to offset any loans.
- Veteran Benefits: Veterans looking to begin a career in the transportation industry may be able to use benefits covered by the GI Bill® to help pay for CDL training or may be reimbursed by carriers later on.
So How Do I Get a Grant for Truck Driving School?
After understanding the different types of grants available, you’ll need to determine which options are the most suitable to fit your needs. Once you set your sights on a specific program, these simple steps will help guide you toward securing the funding you need to begin your career in trucking.
Do Your Research
The question “How do I get a grant for truck driving school?” is best answered with thorough and intensive research; examining all your options on the front end will prove invaluable by ensuring that you don’t waste valuable time applying to programs that you may not even qualify for, to begin with.
Ensuring your eligibility is always the first step in the application process; grants may come with stipulations regarding factors such as income level, age, educational background, employment status, gender and/or ethnicity. In addition, grants sometimes elevate opportunities for underrepresented groups or those with specific career goals.
Research can involve contacting reputable trucking associations, which often have plentiful resources and information to provide aspiring drivers. In addition, make the most of online forums and social media platforms by crowdsourcing information, advice, and recommendations from other licensed truckers who have successfully undergone the grant application process.
Moreover, it can be advantageous to begin your search by discovering and investigating smaller, lesser-known programs at the private and state levels because it increases your odds in the applicant pool. In comparison, larger programs tend to be more competitive.
Most grants require applicants to provide supporting documents that verify their identity, residency, income, education, and character. These documents usually include a valid driver’s license or passport, utility bills, tax returns, pay stubs, diplomas, transcripts, GED certificates, and more. Because these documents may take some time and effort to locate, this compilation process is most efficient when begun well in advance of the application’s deadline.
Beyond these more straightforward elements, grant applications may require applicants to obtain and present a letter of recommendation as a testimonial to their character and work ethic. Be sure to source this letter from a respected figure such as a teacher, employer, community leader, or mentor. Having a strong reference to vouch for you will offer you legitimacy that will prove instrumental while your application is under review.
Complete Your Applications
Once you’ve compiled all the necessary documentation, follow the application instructions carefully and upload the documents one by one, making sure to adhere to any necessary formatting specifications. Again, be detail-oriented and provide accurate, honest information.
Applications may also involve writing a detailed personal statement or essay. Organizations will seek relevant experiences or challenges that have contributed to your dream of becoming a truck driver. Grants are only awarded to those serious about completing the training program and pursuing a lifelong career in trucking. This is your opportunity to display authenticity and passion and help you stand out in the applicant pool.
Once you’ve finished, double-check that you haven’t missed any sections or made any errors. Proofread all your work, making sure to be clear, concise, and grammatically correct. Submit your application well within the specified deadline so that if anything is amiss, you’ll have ample time to correct it and resubmit.
When receiving any type of financial assistance—including grants—persistence is key. Even after you’ve submitted your application for review, more work still needs to be done. While waiting patiently for news may seem polite, it is generally a good idea to contact the granting organization and maintain regular contact with them to demonstrate your commitment to the opportunity.
Beyond following up with a singular organization, applicants often seek other financing options to give themselves the best odds of succeeding in such highly competitive applicant pools. This means applying to multiple grants and investigating alternative funding sources, such as employer-sponsored programs and community-based organizations that help individuals pursue vocational training.
Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!