Helping Hoosiers Navigate the Workforce Ready Grant

group holding symbols

As our state continues to respond to—and recover from—the public health and economic impact of COVID-19, Hoosiers need someone who has their back. That’s why INvestEd is partnering with Indiana’s Next Level Jobs program to provide free guidance on completing the tuition-free Workforce Ready Grant application.

Learn more about the Workforce Ready Grant below, and click the call button to speak with one of INvestEd’s trusted experts to kickstart your new career.

What is the Workforce Ready Grant?

The Workforce Ready Grant helps working-age Hoosiers enroll in tuition-free training programs in any one of the following, high-demand fields in Indiana:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Building & Construction
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • IT & Business Services
  • Transportation & Logistics

By covering all tuition and regularly assessed fees for qualifying high-value certificates at approved training providers across Indiana, the Workforce Ready Grant helps Hoosiers get the training and skills needed to land a high-paying, in-demand job within Indiana’s most employable industries.

Am I Eligible To Apply?

To qualify for the grant, students must:

  • Be an Indiana resident and a U.S. citizen (or eligible resident)
  • Have a high school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Have less than a college degree:
    • Have not earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
    • Have not earned a certificate currently covered by the program
  • Enroll in any qualifying training program at an eligible training provider
  • File the FAFSA and be eligible for state financial aid (for certain providers)

Rapid Recovery Temporary Expansion:

Federal funding through the CARES Act enables Indiana to temporarily expand program and eligibility options. Students that meet the requirements listed above with the exceptions below will temporarily be eligible for the Workforce Ready Grant. The exceptions expire December 30, 2020 or earlier, so students should make sure program is completed by this deadline.

Additional eligibility criteria:

  • Student that have an associate or bachelor’s degree
    • Higher level degree holders (graduate or professional) do NOT qualify.
  • Students that have exhausted their state financial aid eligibility
  • Students that enroll in a temporarily added qualifying training program

How Can I Get Started?

Call INvestEd at (317) 715-9007 to speak with one of our trusted financial aid experts and receive free support on navigating and completing Indiana’s tuition-free Workforce Ready Grant.

We’re available Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If we’re unavailable at the time of your call, leave us a voice message and we’ll call you back within one business day. We can provide free support on navigating and completing Indiana’s tuition-free Workforce Ready Grant.

In addition, INvestEd can also help with:

  • Filing the FAFSA
  • Applying for other financial aid resources to fund your education
  • Managing college costs and student loans
person holding info bubble

Frequently Asked Questions about the Workforce Ready Grant

Next Level Jobs—part of Governor Holcomb’s Next Level Indiana agenda—aims to equip working-age Hoosiers and Indiana employers with the training and skills they need to succeed in the 21st Century economy. Developed in partnership by the Governor, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development with support from the Indiana General Assembly, Next Level Jobs features two targeted grant programs:

  • Workforce Ready Grant program for working-age Hoosiers
  • Employer Training Grant program for Indiana employers

To qualify for the grant, students must:

  • Be an Indiana resident and a U.S. citizen (or eligible resident)
  • Have a high school diploma (or equivalent)
  • Have less than a college degree
    • Have not earned an associate or bachelor’s degree
    • Have not earned a certificate currently covered by the program
  • Enroll in any qualifying training program at an eligible training provider

For credit-bearing programs, students also must:

  • File the FAFSA (allow 5-7 business days to be processed) for the appropriate award year.
  • Be eligible for state financial aid
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress (SAP)
  • Enroll as a full-time student (typically four courses) if you are a Dependent Student for federal financial aid purposes
  • Enroll at least as a half-time student (typically two courses) if you are an Independent Student for federal financial aid purposes

Rapid Recovery temporary eligibility expansion allows for following students to also qualify if requirements above are met:

  • Student that have an associate or bachelor’s degree
    • Higher level degree holders (graduate or professional) do NOT qualify.
  • Students that have exhausted their state financial aid eligibility
  • Students that enroll in a temporarily added qualifying training program

NOTE: Temporary expansion expires on or before December 30, 2020

The Workforce Ready Grant covers the remaining tuition and mandatory fee charges after other financial aid (excluding loans and GI Bill Benefits) has been applied. Residents may receive the grant for up to two (2) years. The grant covers up to the number of credits required by the qualifying program including up to six (6) credit hours of remedial coursework taken after admission. The grant does not cover courses that do not directly apply to the student’s certificate program.

The grant covers more than 125 high-value certificate programs offered in five job fields aligned with Indiana’s economy:

  • Advanced Manufacturing
  • Building & Construction
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • IT & Business Technology
  • Transportation & Logistics

The program does not cover associate or bachelor’s degrees and all certificate programs are less than two years.

These fields are among the fastest growing industries in the state. The programs were selected based on employer demand, wages, job placements, and program completion rates.

Please see here for a list of approved training providers and programs.

Rapid Recovery temporarily expanded the programs available through December 30, 2020 or before. See list of temporarily added qualifying training programs.

No. The Workforce Ready Grant can only be used for programs offered by an approved training provider. Please see here for a list of approved training providers and programs.

Rapid Recovery temporarily expanded the programs available through December 30, 2020 or before. See list of temporarily added qualifying training programs.

There is no age restriction, but Hoosiers must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Those with a bachelor’s or associate degree, however, are not eligible.

Yes, you are still eligible as long as you do not have an associate or a bachelor’s degree and are not in default on your student loans. To resolve issues related to defaulted student loans, contact the Federal Student Aid office at 1 (800) 433-3242 or your loan provider.

Adults with an associate or bachelor’s degree or a certificate currently covered by the Workforce Ready Grant are not eligible for the grant. However, due to the Rapid Recovery plan students with an associate or bachelor’s degree may be eligible. Funding for this exception will expire on or before December 30, 2020, so students should contact their provider to determine eligibility. There may be additional financial aid resources available to help you fund your education. Call INvestEd at (317) 715-9007 for guidance on accessing financial aid and managing college costs.

In addition, the Indiana Department of Workforce Development has several resources on its website at IndianaCareerReady.com for re-training, including a job search engine for in-demand jobs. Indiana Career Ready also offers Career Guidance at their WorkOne Career Centers—schedule an appointment today!

Yes, assuming you meet all of the eligibility requirements for the program. Workforce Ready Grants would only be used after existing, non-GI Bill, military education benefits are exhausted.

Unfortunately, DACA recipients do not qualify for the credit-bearing Workforce Ready Grant at this time.

Recipients may be currently employed, but are not required to be. Unlike some employer-funded programs, recipients of this grant are not required to stay with their current employer for any period of time while enrolled in or upon completing the program.

Yes, as long as you meet the qualifications of your unemployment benefits and the Next Level Jobs eligibility, you can learn a new skill while keeping your benefits.

Visit IndianaCareerReady.com for opportunities for job seekers and employers.

Yes, many Workforce Ready Grant programs are embedded in associate and bachelor’s degree programs. Upon enrollment, inform your advisor of your plans to help determine the best path forward. If your degree path has an imbedded certificate covered by the grant, ask your advisor to enroll you in the certificate program first, to ensure you are taking advantage of the grant.

What if I already have a certificate but no degree?

As long as you do not hold a certificate currently funded by the program, you may be eligible for tuition-free training. Any individual that already holds (or earns through the program) a qualifying certificate will not be eligible for additional free training utilizing the grant.

The Workforce Ready Grant has been designed for independent students to utilize the grant despite any previous SAP issues, as long as students have not attended college for the past two years (or attended without utilizing financial aid):

  • If the student has not attended in the last two years, the student qualifies for an exception to SAP for WRG.
  • The student qualifies for an exception to SAP for the Workforce Ready Grant so long as:
    • If the The student hasn’t used financial aid in the last two years, but has attended and paid out-of-pocket;, and the last two years
    • The student’s academic performance during that time meets the GPA and pace components of SAP.

Please contact the provider you are interested in directly for more information and to discuss your academic standing.

I Need To File For Unemployment. Where Should I Go?

If you’re seeking Unemployment Insurance, please visit the Indiana Unemployment page on the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s website.

Are There Other Resources INvestEd Can Provide?

Call INvestEd at (317) 715-9007 if you’re looking for support on any of the following:

  • Completing the FAFSA
  • Navigating career training and/or college costs, including applying for other financial aid resources to fund your education
  • Managing student loan debt

About INvestEd

INvestEd is Indiana’s only state-based, nonprofit financial aid literacy and student loan organization, one of 22 across the country. INvestEd provides literacy programs that help Hoosier families understand college costs and how to fund college with the least debt. INvestEd also offers responsible lending and refinancing options to Hoosiers. To learn more about us or to receive a free online toolkit to help plan for college costs, go to www.investedindiana.org.

Workforce Ready Grant Testimonial