We often hear in the news that the job market has changed and future employment opportunities will be in new industries, and most of this has come about as a result of the economic downturn and recession period we saw, but when it comes to helping unemployed individuals either retrain or acquire their education so that they can go further in certain industries, financial assistance is often a major concern. Obviously, it’s been reported on extensively over the past months, and even the last few years, that college tuition costs are on the rise and it’s creating situations where students are either having to seek out more financial aid from scholarships and grants or taking on larger loads of debt to pay college costs.
However, college financial assistance for unemployed individuals may offer various opportunities that will help these students pursue certain degree programs from institutions that range from major universities to community colleges. Yet, this is where some unemployed men and women are unsure of how they may qualify for these options or where to even begin, as many may have either never attended college and want to earn their degree or those who are returning to school are obviously far removed from the financial aid application process.
Furthermore, many officials and proponents of education funding are looking for ways to make costs more affordable simply because student loans have become such a great hindrance in the financial lives of many graduates that student debt outranks credit card debt in some areas, which many feel may be leading to potential defaults in the future since we have seen continued high levels of unemployment. Obviously, someone who is unemployed will want to avoid acquiring debt if at all possible, so this is where many financial aid counselors want these unemployed men and women who are beginning or returning to school to look at scholarships and grants from numerous reputable sources, submit applications as quickly as possible, and pursue these free sources of financial aid before even considering a loan.
While students can probably get specific information related to their area or the school they plan to attend by calling the financial aid office at their chosen university or community college, it will also be helpful to do some research in the industry where careers are located in which a student plans to focus their studies. Simply put, if someone is pursuing a degree in education, with a concentration in mathematics for example, there are certain scholarships and grants that are only available to future educators in certain fields, and this can narrow the competition for these sources of aid and potentially lead to a situation where a student’s college costs are met without the need for loans.
Also, simply submitting a FAFSA form should be standard for students as opportunities like Pell Grants for undergraduate students have reportedly been kept in place, in terms of their funding, despite the fact that certain changes were made to student financial aid as part of the recent debt reduction talks. Yet, unemployed students can also look at companies in their area as some businesses may offer internships or financial aid assistance to students who are pursuing certain college degrees, and when all is said and done unemployed students may have options from FAFSA, scholarships directly from their school, or financial assistance from companies in their area that can be used to pay for college costs.
Some may feel that these practices are somewhat generalized, meaning they can be applied to any student returned to school, but it also should be remembered that unemployed men and women need to look into how these financial aid resources may specifically help those who are without a job. Again, simply speaking with the financial aid counselor at a school could lead to assistance as there are some universities and colleges that have unemployment retraining programs or tuition reduction for those who are currently unemployed, but other sources of financial assistance may also be offering aid to students who have lost their job. While companies or universities are not necessarily guaranteed to offer tuition payment assistance specifically for unemployed, where students find financial aid resources available, looking into any current unemployment aid may also add another layer to potential sources of tuition payment assistance plans that are already available.