Many people when they are unemployed decide to go back to school. It seems like the perfect time to be trained or certified to do something else: something that will draw an income again and perhaps set us on the road toward the good life. Here are some things you need to know about financial aid for unemployed workers.
- When you’re applying for a grant, a merit award (usually called a ‘scholarship’), or a federally-funded student loan, bad credit is not an issue. Grants do not need to be repaid and are often target at low-income and needy families; merit awards are based on a demonstrated talent like academic achievement or artistic merit, which bypass a person’s credit history; and federally-funded student loans are awarded based on financial need. Don’t let bad credit keep you from going back to school, because they are often a great source of financial aid for unemployed people.
- Students in some disciplines, like education and medicine, are often eligible for special programs which are meant to subsidize education. In addition, many universities offer tuition forgiveness programs for students who perform well and are going into a service program.
- Many colleges and universities require students to do work-study as part of their financial aid package. Work-study is a program whereby a student works off part of his or her tuition or housing by working on campus, either in an office, as a professor’s personal assistant, or in maintenance and janitorial services, and that is why they are good sources of financial aid for unemployed students.
- The person best equipped to help you find financial aid for unemployed students is your school’s financial aid officer. He or she will give you all the information they have about programs for which you qualify. Apply for as many programs, grants, and scholarships as you can. Be aggressive in promoting your own academic interests, but never, under any circumstances, provide anyone with false information. Providing false information on financial aid applications will have dire consequences, including expulsion from school and possible criminal penalties.
These are things that you should think about when you are looking for financial aid for unemployed students. Just because you are unemployed it doesn’t mean that you can’t attend college. It just means that you might have to look harder to find financial aid that can help you.