The state of Georgia provides funding to students interesting in pursuing a commercial driver's license. Eligible schools receive funding from the state to provide CDL training courses to students at no or minimal costs. The state also invests money into the commercial truck driving industry to ensure that drivers are adequately prepared to meet safety standards while on the road.
Workforce Investment Act Grant
The Workforce Investment Act helps laid off workers, veterans and people with disabilities obtain new job skills. Financial aid information and career counseling is provided at One Stop Career Centers located across Georgia. The One Stop Career Center has a list of Workforce Investment Act-funded CDL training courses. Eligible workers can apply for help to have their training course paid for. Workforce Investment Act funds go toward the costs of tuition, books and supplies.
HOPE Grant and Zell Miller Scholarship
Georgia's HOPE grant can also cover the cost of obtaining a CDL. The HOPE grant is available to residents of Georgia attending an eligible school and covers a portion of the cost of tuition. To qualify for a HOPE grant, you must have graduated from high school with a minimum 3.0 GPA. All CDL courses in the Technical College System of Georgia are eligible for the Zell Miller Scholarship, which covers a portion of the tuition costs. To qualify for the Zell Miller Scholarship fund, you must have graduated from a HOPE-eligible high school as the valedictorian, or graduated from high school with a minimum 3.7 GPA and minimum score of 1200 on the SAT.
CDL School Tuition Programs
Several carriers offer tuition reimbursement once you have completed the CDL course. For example, Swift reimburses students for the total cost of the $3,900 tuition over 26 consecutive months of employment with the company. Central Refrigerated Service Inc.'s training academy located in Conley provides financing for students to attend the school. The two- to three-week course requires no money down, and the only out-of-pocket expenses are licensing fees and living expenses. The academy financing also covers housing and transportation costs if needed.
Commercial Driver's License Program Improvement Grant
In 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation provided $131,942 to the state of Georgia to help improve compliance with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 and to expand judicial outreach. The goal of the grant program is to reduce the number and severity of commercial motor vehicle crashes in the United States. Applicants eligible to apply for funding include government organizations designated as the primary driver licensing agency that issues CDLs. Organizations proposing to research, develop and provide public education related to commercial driver licensing and commercial motor vehicle safety on a national scale are also eligible for funding.