We talk a lot about FastForward being one of the most affordable options in higher education, but we don’t always put our money where our mouth is. While every body has different levels of access to funding, whether it be income-based or some other designation (like being a veteran), training through FastForward gives you access to Virginia’s Community Colleges and their relationships with other organizations that can help cover the costs of your career training.
Our FastForward Career Coaches are helping students every day get enrolled in training and finding the best source of funding to keep costs low and the return high.
“While there are other grant programs that provide full tuition assistance for eligible applicants, those programs often have difficult and cumbersome applications and eligibility processes,” said Brooke Shehan, our coach at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.
The trainings offered through FastForward lead to certificates and credentials for in-demand careers in the workforce. Because of this connection, there is another source of state grant funding, FANTIC, that helps offset costs even further for those who qualify. One coach told us that just over half of her FastForward students also qualified for FANTIC, in many cases bringing their tuition under $100.
Sometimes individual circumstances drive the costs down even further.
“I helped a young adult who supports herself with some assistance from a grandparent. She wanted a better life for herself, so she enrolled in FastForward,” recalled Kim Matthews, FastForward Career Coach and New River Community College. “I helped her complete enrollment forms and the FANTIC application. She used an extra computer in my office to request tax transcripts. I advised her on the documents she needed to complete the application, and we got her costs down in the double digits.”
There are many other local and state resources that are available to students who enroll in FastForward that they may not know about unless they talk to their local coach.
“Once I talk with students about their options and how it brings the cost of the class from thousands of dollars to the low hundreds, I see hope in their eyes,” said Jennifer Merrell, our coach from Northern Virginia Community College. “Even for students who don’t qualify for some of the options, there is a sense of hope for being able to utilize FastForward’s funding to help bring down the cost of the class.”
To learn more about FastForward training where you live, reach out to you local coach to ask those questions.