Like most things in life, free doesn’t always mean what you think it does. Students ask us daily, how can I get free CDL training? And the answer depends on each individual’s situation. It also requires a little myth-busting along the way. Read on to learn how to select the best option to pay for your CDL training.
What is free or paid CDL Training?
The terms free CDL training and paid CDL training get used interchangeably. Really what they mean is that you, the student, are getting your CDL training or tuition at no upfront charge to you. But how do you get free CDL training? That’s where the Driver Resource Center can help.
How to get free CDL Training?
The Driver Resource center works with a network of private CDL schools. Our priority is to help you get a CDL with the least out-of-pocket costs possible and ensure you have a great job after graduation. That’s why most of our students have job offers before they even start school. There are several tuition assistance programs you can utilize to cover all or part of the cost of CDL training.
Let’s explore the way to get CDL training for “free.”
State and Federal Grants for CDL training
The only way to get CDL training that is truly free is to receive a state or federal grant or utilize G.I. Bill® benefits.* Such benefits cover the cost of tuition to attend a CDL school like our Driver Resource Center network schools. You might be wondering if you qualify for a grant to pay for CDL training? Check out our blog on grants to see if you may be eligible. You can also talk with a DRC career specialist who can help determine eligibility based on your situation. We consider this the only true free CDL training because grants do not have to be paid back. Also, following graduation, you are free to work for any carrier.
Company Sponsored Training
Don’t worry if you are not eligible for grants for CDL training. There are still options to get paid CDL training. Another option is company-sponsored CDL training. DRC partners with carriers that sponsor students and pay most tuition costs. An unsecured loan covers the remaining tuition through the DRC finance department. You might be saying, “but I don’t want a loan?” We hear this a lot. However, a short-term loan paid off early has many positive outcomes. One is that it will improve your credit score. Your loan payment will be approximately $50/week. As a truck driver, you could earn $1000 or more per week. That’s a great return on investment.
You might be wondering how this differs from company-paid CDL training through a carrier? Well, it is very similar. However, most carriers do not offer to finance the outstanding training costs not covered by them. Like company-sponsored training, you must work for that carrier for a specified length of time—usually a year. If you do not fulfill your employment contract, pass the training, or the carrier no longer needs to hire you, you will be required to pay for all CDL training costs.
When you receive company-sponsored training through DRC should you run into any of the issues mentioned above, we will help you find a solution. That may mean finding another carrier to hire you and, if needed, providing additional training to ensure you pass your CDL exam. Our goal is to get you a high-paying truck driving job.
As you can see, company-sponsored training through a private CDL school provides many benefits over a carrier school.
Another popular option is tuition reimbursement. When you pay upfront for tuition, whether with savings, a credit card, or a loan, we can help you get hired with a carrier that offers tuition reimbursement. You will also receive a substantial saving for paying tuition upfront. Our partner carriers provide tuition reimbursement for most if not all of your CDL training loans. Payments are made after your hire date and continue if employed with the carrier. Tuition reimbursement is an excellent option for those looking for flexibility and freedom of choice. If you go work for a carrier and it is not a good fit, you can transfer to another carrier that offers tuition reimbursement within your first year of driving.
Why Choose a DRC Network School?
Our partnership with the industry’s top carriers is just one reason to choose a DRC network school. All DRC schools are extensively vetted to ensure the highest levels of training.
Other Benefits Include:
- Multiple options to fund your CDL education at a top-notch school
- Work with a dedicated career specialist to determine the best option for free CDL classes (or nearly free).
- All DRC network schools are ELDT registered.
- We will help you secure a job prior to enrollment
- A finance office will help you secure loans if needed
- Quality instructors with extensive real-world trucking experience.
- Lifetime job placement services
What Questions Should I Ask a CDL School?
What Questions Should I Ask a CDL School?
When choosing where you’ll pursue your CDL training, it’s essential to ask specific questions. Using open-ended questions such as these will give you the best information so you can make an informed decision and find the right fit for you.
•How long will it take to get my CDL?
•Are you an approved class A ELDT training provider?
•Will you provide a study guide to get my permit?
•Where is the training facility?
•What is the instructor-student ratio?
•Are meals and lodging provided during training?
•What kind of trucks will I drive in training?
•Will I learn to drive a standard transmission?
•Will the trailers I learn on be loaded or empty?
•How will you prepare me to drive in unfavorable conditions and weather?
•What, if any, endorsements will I earn during training?
Ready to learn more. Let’s get you in touch with a career specialist who can review these options and more. Please take the next step and fill out the interest form below.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill. https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/Trademark_Terms_of_Use.asp”>https://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBIL