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What are Scholarships and Grants?

Nov 3, 2020

A quick look at the career training board on the Trades Hub should indicate plenty of training programs for you to succeed in your chosen career. Most of these programs cost money, though, so what are your options to help pay for them? We’ll help you think about those options below.

The first thing to figure out is whether money you receive for school is something you get to keep or have to pay back. Student loans are, in fact, loans which need to be paid back to the organization which provided you the money. No surprise there. If you take out a loan to help pay for school, make sure you understand how long you have to pay it back and what interest rate you will be charged on the amount you have left to repay.

If at all possible, please try to find scholarships and grants instead of loans because those (in nearly every situation) do NOT need to be repaid. Those are funds provided by organizations, individuals, or the government to help you with your educational expenses.

The Scholarship board is a great place to start your search for scholarships and grants. There we have pulled together as many options as we can find to make sure that your technical education costs you as little as possible – while also being as good as possible!

The most popular alternative for you to consider is a Federal Pell Grant. According to the Federal Student Aid office, a Pell Grant is usually awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. In order to determine whether you qualify for a Pell Grant, you must start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid.

The amount you can receive through a Pell Grant changes yearly, with the maximum for the 2020-21 award year totaling $6,345. The amount you get, though, will depend on:

  • Your Expected Family Contribution (determined by the FAFSA);
  • The cost of your specific school program;
  • Your status as a full- or part-time student; and,
  • Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
There is a good deal of scholarship money available to help you finance your technical education. Take advantage of it!

A wide range of scholarships also exist to help you pay for your education. Most scholarships for technical schools are offered through the schools themselves. On the board you may search for scholarships according to the school you wish to attend. Some schools have one simple application which then gets routed to all available scholarships based on who you are and your program of study, while other schools have a number of scholarships you may apply to individually.

There are also general scholarships provided by organizations outside of the school. One of our partner organizations for scholarships is Wallin Education Partners. Wallin Scholarships serve low-income students pursuing post-secondary education and also provide an advisor to help you through your school years with helpful advice and encouragement. To learn more about the Wallin program, you may read this article. We have also created a number of earn-and-learn opportunities through Wallin with companies such as Daikin Applied, Design Ready Controls, and Graco. To explore those options, please visit the job board and type “Wallin” into the search bar on the right.

Please also explore tuition-reimbursement programs with employers who may be willing to pay for your education while you work for them. Those are tremendous opportunities to develop your skillset and advance within the company. Typing "Tuition Reimbursement" into the far right search bar on the job board will help you find some options.

Finally, be sure to note the application deadlines and required materials so that you get your applications in on time. There is a good deal of scholarship money available to help you finance your technical education. Take advantage of it!

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