Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders can earn more than $64,000 a year* as truck drivers. In order to begin your career driving a commercial motor vehicle, you can either earn your CDL through independent study or by attending classes at a CDL training school. While truck driving school does require you to pay tuition fees, it can be a valuable advantage when you start looking for jobs with trucking companies. It is also possible to take advantage of different forms of financial aid to fund your education.
Here are just a few of the ways you can fund your commercial driver’s license:
Many students are not able to pay the full cost of tuition for CDL school upfront. Student loans are one way that you can fund your education. A loan allows you to attend commercial driver’s license training now and pay off the loan later once you start earning money as a truck driver. Our financial advisors at HDS Truck Driving Institute (HDS truck driving school) can help you determine which loans you may qualify for and how to apply.
In order to apply for federal loans (also called Title IV funding), you will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). These funds come from the government and are offered based on financial need, the type of program you are attending, and other factors. Some loans are subsidized and do not begin charging interest until you complete the program, whereas others are unsubsidized and begin charging interest as soon as you accept the loan. In addition to loans from the government, you can also take out loans with private banking institutions. Eligibility for all types of loans is based on the student meeting the requirements set by the funding agencies.
Once you find a job with a trucking company after graduation, you may be eligible for tuition reimbursement. This is the process where your employer will pay for some or all of the cost of obtaining your commercial driver’s license. This is usually paid as a monthly amount added to your check. Requirements and specific payment amounts will vary depending on the company. At HDS truck driving school, we offer job placement assistance and may be able to help you find a job that includes tuition reimbursement.
Truck Driving School Grants
Grants are another option that can make it financially possible for you to complete truck driving school. Unlike loans, you do not need to pay back the money you receive from a grant. These benefits can come from the government for those who qualify or may be privately funded. Either way, you will need to meet specific requirements in order to apply for individual grants.
HDS has close relationships with many agencies in Arizona that offer grants to help you earn your commercial driver’s license. These include: Arizona@Work (statewide workforce development), MyCAA (My Career Advancement Account for military spouses), and the Arizona Department of Economic Security Rehabilitation Services. If you choose to complete CDL training with us, we will help you determine if you are eligible for any grants and will help you begin the application process.
VA Benefits/GI Bill®
VA (Veterans Affairs) benefits include specific funds that many of our students have been able to take advantage of. The most common of these is the GI Bill®, which provides benefits for those who served over 90 days of active duty following September 11, 2001. The amount you qualify for will depend on your length of service and character. HDS will work with you and the VA to ensure that you are able to take advantage of any Veterans benefits that you are eligible to receive.
Earn Your Commercial Driver’s License with HDS
HDS truck driving school will help you earn your CDL and prepare you for a rewarding career as a truck driver. We offer financial aid for those who qualify and can help you explore options to fund your education.
Contact us today to apply for one of our commercial driver’s license training programs.
*Professional truck drivers earn a mean annual wage of $44,500. The top 10% of truck drivers make more than $64,000 per year according to the 2017 Bureau of Labor Statistics.