Financial help for Indiana CDL students

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    tl;dr – cliffs at the bottom.

    I’m going to try to update this thread as I get more info going through the process of obtaining my CDL. I had heard RVT mention that someone had received financial help from the state or federal government to help pay for CDL school. I got curious. I went to the local unemployment office, called WorkOne, in southern Indiana. I asked them about programs for retraining, and told them I was specifically interested in CDL training. I filled out a pretty simple form and then spoke to a ‘career counselor’. She let me know that they had a program that did help with training, but I would need to go through a process to be approved for the assistance. As I’m currently taking time off work, (not drawing unemployment), I agreed to go through the process to find out what amount the assistance would be and if it would be worthwhile for myself or others considering the time involved.
    The next step was to return for a series of aptitude tests which would take about 3 hours. I agreed and scheduled a time. After taking the test I met with the administrator of the test to review scores. She told me that the target score for the CDL assistance was around the 10th grade high school level. The test had elements of grammar, mathematics and basic problem solving. I mention the 10th grade level competency because I suppose that there are people who would wonder if the test was ‘hard’ or ‘easy’. Well that really depends on the person, and as we don’t know each other that well this at least gives you an metric to compare.
    I took the opportunity to ask as many questions as she would tolerate, and she was really happy to tell me about the program and also give me some info concerning other programs. Here’s what came of that conversation…

    In Indiana there are grants that pay the full price of CDL school for those who can show a financial need. There are some forms that need to be filed to assess an individuals need, but I got the impression that this was really decided more by the case worker than by the numbers on the paper, but I could be wrong about that. I tried to be polite and humble and all of the people I spoke with were anxious to help me move forward. I was also told to refer anyone who would be interested to come in to talk because that had excess funds that went unclaimed for programs like this. I was also told that there was a ‘young adult’ program geared specifically for ages 21-27ish (I can’t remember specifically) to assist in vocational training. I’m in my early 40s so she didn’t go into great detail concerning this, but she indicated there were some added perks that applied to that age group.

    As far as the amount, she didn’t give a $$ figure. What I was told was that WorkOne had ‘partnered’ with a company called TDI, who has 3 schools in Indiana. The arrangement would pay the entire cost of tuition for the school ($4000-5000), but not cover the addition HAZMAT cert training that costs an additional $100.

    At this point I have taken the aptitude test and done some other required ‘career development’ busy work (build a resume, fill out a self assessment profile ect.). Upcoming requirements to receive the assistance will include writing a 1 page essay concerning my situation, filling out a detailed monthly financial report, taking a drug test and attending a few more meeting with the career counselor. I’ll also be required to do some follow up after I graduate from the program and begin working. I was told that all of the follow up can be done by email or fax.

    I know this post might be a little long winded, but I’ve seen so many people get discouraged and disheartened by the tedious things that get lumped into the process. So I’m trying to give anyone interested an idea of what the process entails. I’m only at the beginning stages, and my personal circumstances are such that I won’t be interested in start CDL school until late June or Early July. So I won’t be able to give anyone a ‘quickest case scenario’, but I’ll try to document the steps of the process as completely as possible.

    After watching RVT’s vids, I can see how important it can be to start off without the burden of being indentured to a specific company. So hopefully this will help some of my fellow Hoosiers and also inspire some folks in other states to dig around and find some things like this for themselves and others. Best of luck to us all.

    Cliff notes; Guy in Indiana wants CDL. Talks to Unemployment Office. Finds program to pay full tuition to TDI in Indiana. Takes apptitude test. Still needs to; fill out financial forms, take drug test, write essay, go to more meetings. expects to get $4-5k in financial help.

    • This topic was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by  kevindiana.


    Thanks for posting this. Most states have similar programs. They are administered by state unemployment office. If an applicant has “hiccups” in background it is common for office to require applicant get a pre-hire letter from a trucking company. Office doesn’t want to fund CDL school who will be unable to be hired. Programs can be used for skills other than truck driving.



    great info and PLEASE keep updating this thread with new info
    It will be invaluable for newbies starting out

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