Written by Erin Stalcup for World Education
Congratulations! You’ve made your decision and you want to go back to school for a certification to help you get that better paying job you’ve always envisioned. Now the question is - how do you pay for it? There are loans available either through the government (Federal student loans) or privately but these can put you in debt… first you should consider grants. These are financial gifts that are given to you from certain entities that you don’t have to pay back.
The best choice for funding a certification program right now is a grant provided by the government. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) created a grant designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Each state has a list of qualifying high value programs included in this grant. Most of them include advanced manufacturing, building & construction, health sciences, IT & business services, and transportation & logistics.
The requirements for one of these grants is similar to any other grant or funding for educational services:
● Be a state resident and U.S. citizen or (eligible non-citizen)
● Have a high school diploma (or equivalent) but less then a college degree
● Enroll in a qualifying program at an eligible training provider
● File for the FAFSA
● Enroll full-time (typically four courses) if you are a Dependent Student
● Enroll at least half-time (typically two courses) if you are an Independent Student
● Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
● Meet any other minimum criteria established by the Commission
To apply for this grant you will need to go to your state’s government page for the WIOA grant and follow the directions they provide. Your local government contact will best be able to answer any questions you have regarding the application requirements and process.
Good luck in pursuing your education and working your way to a successful new career field!