3 Financial Aid Tips for Adults Going Back to College

Written by  //  July 16, 2013  //  Student Aid, Loans  //  Comments Off

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A lot of people in today’s job market are heading back to college to further their educations in order to either preserve their current careers, move ahead in their careers or just learn new skills to support themselves after being laid off. You could be one of them.

Whether your aim is to get a graduate degree from a reputed Christian university or to gain additional certification to expand your career opportunities, you need to prepare yourself well for managing the costs of going back to college. Right from adjusting the the schedule to paying for college costs it all can be challenging if you’re not prepared.

Here are a few effective tips on how you can get the most out of the financial aid opportunities available to you.

#1: Find Scholarships

Things can seem tough when you’re looking for college scholarships, but don’t be disappointed or discouraged when you’re search for them. While most of the scholarships are targeted towards high-school seniors, you will find a number of scholarships geared towards adult students who are going back to college. For example, if you actively participate within your church/community and have displayed spiritual maturity then you may qualify for the Pastor’s Scholarship Program offered by Cornerstone University to pursue your Christian graduate degree.

If you’re working with a company then find out whether your employer is offering scholarship opportunities for all those employees who want to go for higher education. If not that then check with the professional association that you’re a member of to see if they offer any scholarships. And last but not the least, get in touch with financial aid office of the university/college that you are planning to attend to learn more about their scholarship programs.

#2: Get Smart with College Loans

The last thing you would want is college your loan becoming a financial burden on you. You need to be smart in your approach, think wisely and plan to stay within your current career field. Keep your expected salary in mind and make sure that you avoid going for a loan that you will have trouble paying back.

If you are going for higher education to get into a new career field, do your research and find out about the salary ranges so that you can choose the right college loan. Also, when you’re looking for loans choose the ones with low interest rates. See to it that you have gone through the fine print on loan limits and repayment plans to find loans that work for you.

#3: Ask Employer for Tuition Assistance

There are many companies out there that provide their employees with tuition assistance so that they can pursue their higher studies. While some companies have restrictions where the employees can only take those that are directly related to your career, other companies are much more open with their assistance.

So how do you really go about this? Get in touch with your human resources department to see if your company gives any education benefits to help you study further. However, if you anticipate that you would be getting laid off or if you already got laid off then find out if retraining or education benefits can go into your severance package.

These are just simple tips for grown adults going back for post-education. What other tips can you come up with? Share in the comments.

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