While it's a concern for all age groups, time and money are certainly an even greater consideration for working adults. Time, because many men and women might be completing a degree while
- How Much Continuing Education Costs: Before you consider any option, I recommend looking at how much your education is going to cost. Examine all of your options (online degree programs, part-time or full-time classes, certification classes, etc.). Remember, it's not just tuition you need to address, you also need to consider the cost of books, supplies, room and board, travel or commuting costs, online access, etc. There's a great resource called Financial Aid Facts that provides a helpful worksheet for estimating the total cost of your education.
- Federal Financial Aid for Continuing Education Students: Once you know how much you need, start looking for resources. Federal aid includes the Federal Pell Grant and Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), as well as scholarships for unique qualifications. Federal work-study programs are also available for students. Federal Student Aid is an office of the U.S. Department of Education, and offers a step-by-step process and application for determining your eligibility and applying for student aid.
- State Aid for Continuing Education Students: The next step is to determine state resources that are available to you. Keep in mind that state programs vary greatly from state to state, but the Department of Education provides a list of State Higher Education Agencies that is very helpful. In Pennsylvania (where Peirce is located) this is the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA).
- Loans for Continuing Education Students: Once you've determined your eligibility for Federal and State aid, you should consider student loans. Your options include the Federal Stafford Subsidized loans, which are available to students enrolled for at least six credit hours per semester. Unsubsidized Stafford loans provide students that do not qualify for all or part of the Federal Stafford Subsidized loans the opportunity to borrow with a low interest loan. The Parent PLUS Loan is available for parents of dependent undergraduates, which allows parents to borrow up to the student's cost of attendance minus any estimated financial aid.
- Employer Tuition Reimbursement for Continuing Education Students: This is often an overlooked area of opportunity for many students. A lot of employers provide tuition reimbursement. You should inquire with your employer to determine if such a program is available and how you can qualify.
- College/University Scholarships for Continuing Education Students: Almost every school offers scholarship programs. In most cases, information and applications are available via the school's Web site. A variety of scholarships and applications for Peirce College can be found in our financial aid section.
- College/University Grants for Continuing Education Students: Like scholarships, most schools also offer grants. It will differ by school, but in my experience, schools offer a variety of grant opportunities and outline these via their Web sites as well. At Peirce this includes our Protect and Serve Grant for first responders which includes: military, fire, police, EMT, and corrections officers, along with their spouses and dependent children.